Advertisement

GeoJournal

pp 1–12 | Cite as

Reaching the sustainable development goals 2030: energy efficiency as an approach to corporate social responsibility (CSR)

  • Mohammad Nurunnabi
  • Javier Esquer
  • Nora Munguia
  • David Zepeda
  • Rafael Perez
  • Luis VelazquezEmail author
Article
  • 35 Downloads

Abstract

It has been widely contended that corporate social responsibility (CSR) is an ambiguous concept that fails to strike the right balance between corporate economic interests and social demands. The present article argues that energy efficient principles can be used as a CSR tool to fulfill the sustainable development goals in the UN’s agenda 2030, so responding to the demands of a range of stakeholders while strengthening profitability. To advance the argument that energy efficiency principles can help to operationalize CSR, an extensive literature analysis was conducted to assess the state of the art in relation to CSR and energy efficiency. The findings confirm the effectiveness of energy efficiency initiatives in responding to the social demands of The Sustainable Development Goals, specifically goal 7, while increasing profitability and/or saving cost. The paper also highlights how energy efficiency can be reported quantitatively in environmental and economic terms beyond narrative reports, so addressing an implied critique of CSR initiatives. The paper concludes that energy efficiency initiatives create competitive advantages informed by the highest ethical principles, with benefits for corporations and society.

Keywords

Energy efficiency CSR SDG 2030, Corporate sustainability 

Notes

Author’s contributions

All the authors contributed equally to conceiving, designing and writing the article.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

References

  1. Allen, M. W., & Craig, C. A. (2016). Rethinking corporate social responsibility in the age of climate change: A communication perspective. International Journal of Corporate Social Responsibility, 1(1), 1–11.Google Scholar
  2. Alvarado-Herrera, A., Bigne, E., Aldas-Manzano, J., & Curras-Perez, R. (2017). A scale for measuring consumer perceptions of corporate social responsibility following the sustainable development paradigm. Journal of Business Ethics, 140(2), 243–262.Google Scholar
  3. Banerjee, S. B. (2008). Corporate social responsibility: The good, the bad and the ugly. Critical Sociology, 34(1), 51–79.Google Scholar
  4. Barros, D. F., Sauerbronn, J. F. R., & da Costa, A. M. (2014). Corporate sustainability discourses in a Brazilian business magazine. Social Responsibility Journal, 10(1), 4–20.Google Scholar
  5. Baughn, C. C., Bodie, N. L., & McIntosh, J. C. (2007). Corporate social and environmental responsibility in Asian countries and other geographical regions. Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, 14(4), 189–205.Google Scholar
  6. Block, B. (2016). Communicating CSR benefits of energy efficiency. Clean markets. http://cleanmarkets.com/marketing-strategies/better-communicating-benefits-of-energy-efficiency-in-csr-reports/. Accessed 28 Nov 2018.
  7. Boeprasert, A. (2012). Does geographical proximity affect corporate social responsibility? Evidence from U.S. market. International Business Research, 5(9), 138–147.Google Scholar
  8. Bulgacov, S., Ometto, M. P., & May, M. R. (2015). Differences in sustainability practices and stakeholder involvement. Social Responsibility Journal, 11(1), 149–160.Google Scholar
  9. Caprani, L. (2016). Five ways the sustainable development goals are better than the millennium development goals and why every educationalist should care. Management in Education, 30(3), 102–104.Google Scholar
  10. Casimiro Almeida, M. G., & Coelho, A. (2017). A causal relationship model linking corporate reputation and customer-based brand equity. Academia Revista Latinoamericana de Administración, 30(2), 249–268.Google Scholar
  11. Castells-Quintana, D., Del Pilar Lopez-Uribe, M., & Mcdermott, T. (2015). Climate change and the geographical and institutional drivers of economic development. London: The Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy and The Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.Google Scholar
  12. Chabrak, N. (2015). Promoting corporate social responsibility and sustainability: A model of integrity. Society and Business Review, 10(3), 280–305.Google Scholar
  13. Chang, R.-D., Zuo, J., Zhao, Z.-Y., Zillante, G., Gan, X.-L., & Soebarto, V. (2017). Evolving theories of sustainability and firms: History, future directions and implications for renewable energy research. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 72, 48–56.Google Scholar
  14. Chintrakarn, P., Jiraporn, P., Jiraporn, N., & Davidson, T. (2017). Estimating the effect of corporate social responsibility on firm value using geographic identification. Asia-Pacific Journal of Financial Studies, 46(2), 276–304.Google Scholar
  15. Costa, R., & Menichini, T. (2013). A multidimensional approach for CSR assessment: The importance of the stakeholder perception. Expert Systems with Applications, 40(1), 150–161.Google Scholar
  16. Crane, M. (2001). Producción y distribución de energía eléctrica. In J. M. Stellman, M. McCann, L. Warshaw, C. Brabant, J. Finklea, J. Messite, et al. (Eds.), Enciclopedia de Salud y Seguridad en el Trabajo (3rd ed., Vol. 3, pp. 76.1–76.19). Madrid: Organización Internacional del Trabajo - OIT.Google Scholar
  17. de Oliveira, C. M., de Mello Bandeira, R. A., Goes, G. V., Gonçalves, D. N. S., & D’Agosto, M. D. A. (2017). Sustainable vehicles-based alternatives in last mile distribution of urban freight transport: A Systematic literature review. Sustainability, 9(8), 1324.Google Scholar
  18. Delai, I., & Takahashi, S. (2011). Sustainability measurement system: A reference model proposal. Social Responsibility Journal, 7(3), 438–471.Google Scholar
  19. Demirel, Y. (2012). Energy: Production, conversion, storage, conservation, and coupling. London: Springer.Google Scholar
  20. ECLAC. (2013). Training manual: Innovative fiscal and regulatory incentives for energy efficiency and renewable energy initiatives. Santiago de Chile: Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean.Google Scholar
  21. Ely, A., Smith, A., Stirling, A., Leach, M., & Scoones, I. (2013). Innovation politics post-Rio+20: Hybrid pathways to sustainability. Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, 31(6), 1063–1081.Google Scholar
  22. Executive, Northern Ireland Housing. (2015). Energy efficiency good practice guide for refurbishment of the residential sector (Low Rise) 2015. Belfast: Northern Ireland Housing Executive.Google Scholar
  23. Ezzati, M., Bailis, R., Kammen, D. M., Holloway, T., Price, L., Cifuentes, L. A., et al. (2004). Energy management and global health. Annual Review of Environment and Resources, 29(1), 383–419.Google Scholar
  24. Fleming, A., Wise, R. M., Hansen, H., & Sams, L. (2017). The sustainable development goals: A case study. Marine Policy, 86, 94–103.Google Scholar
  25. Foroudi, P., Hafeez, K., & Foroudi, M. M. (2017). Evaluating the impact of corporate logos towards corporate reputation. Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, 20(2), 158–180.Google Scholar
  26. Frigant, V. (2015). Beyond the business case and sustainable chain management: Why do we need to build a theory of interfirm social responsability. Management, 18(3), 234–253.Google Scholar
  27. Galuppo, L., Gorli, M., Scaratti, G., & Kaneklin, C. (2014). Building social sustainability: Multi-stakeholder processes and conflict management. Social Responsibility Journal, 10(4), 685–701.Google Scholar
  28. Ganda, F., & Ngwakwe, C. C. (2014). Role of energy efficiency on sustainable development. Environmental Economics, 5(1), 86–99.Google Scholar
  29. Gerstlberger, W., Praest Knudsen, M., & Stampe, I. (2014). Sustainable development strategies for product innovation and energy efficiency. Business Strategy and the Environment, 23(2), 131–144.Google Scholar
  30. Gjølberg, M. (2009). Measuring the immeasurable? Constructing an index of CSR practices and CSR performance in 20 countries. Scandinavian Journal of Management, 25(1), 10–22.Google Scholar
  31. Hadjimanolis, A. (2018). A barriers approach to corporate social responsibility (CSR) adoption in SMEs: The case of Cyprus. In A. Stachowicz-Stanusch & W. Amann (Eds.), Contemporary perspectives in corporate social performance and policy: The middle eastern perspective (pp. 95–114). Charlotte: Information Age Publishing Inc.Google Scholar
  32. Haleem, F., Farooq, S., & Wæhrens, B. V. (2017). Supplier corporate social responsibility practices and sourcing geography. Journal of Cleaner Production, 153, 92–103.Google Scholar
  33. Hamilton, T. (2011). Putting corporate responsibility in its place. Geography Compass, 5(10), 710–722.Google Scholar
  34. Hansen, U. E., Nygaard, I., Romijn, H., Wieczorek, A., Kamp, L. M., & Klerkx, L. (2017). Sustainability transitions in developing countries: Stocktaking, new contributions and a research agenda. Environmental Science & Policy, 84, 198–203.Google Scholar
  35. Hasanbegović, D. (2011). Corporate reputation and brand architecture: The debate. South East European Journal of Economics and Business, 6(2), 37–43.Google Scholar
  36. Hohnen, P. (2007). Corporate social responsibilty - an implementation guide for business. (J. Potts, Ed.). Winnipeg: International Institute for Sustainable Development–IISD.Google Scholar
  37. Hori, S., Shinozaki, M., Nogata, D., & Fujita, T. (2014). The role of CSR in promoting companies’ energy-saving actions in two Asian cities. Energy Policy, 69, 116–121.Google Scholar
  38. Hörisch, J., Johnson, M. P., & Schaltegger, S. (2015). Implementation of sustainability management and company size: A knowledge-based view. Business Strategy and the Environment, 24(8), 765–779.Google Scholar
  39. Husser, J., André, J., Barbat, G., & Lespinet-Najib, V. (2012). CSR and sustainable development: Are the concepts compatible? Management of Environmental Quality: An International Journal, 23(6), 658–672.Google Scholar
  40. Husted, B. W., Jamali, D., & Saffar, W. (2015). Near and dear? The role of location in CSR engagement. Strategic Management Journal, 37(10), 2050–2070.Google Scholar
  41. IEA. (2002). World Energy Outlook 2002. Paris: International Energy Agency. http://www.worldenergyoutlook.org/media/weowebsite/energydevelopment/WEO2002Chapter13.pdf. Accessed 28 Feb 2018.
  42. IEA. (2014a). Capturing the multiple benefits of energy efficiency. Paris: OECD.Google Scholar
  43. IEA. (2014b). Energy efficiency indicators: Fundamentals on statistics. Paris: International Energy Agency.Google Scholar
  44. IEA. (2017). Market report series—energy efficiency 2017. Paris: International Energy Agency.Google Scholar
  45. IRENA, & C2E2. (2015). Synergies between Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency: A working paper based on REmap 2030 (Vol. 1). Copenhagen: International Renewable Energy Agency and Copenhagen Centre on Energy Efficiency.Google Scholar
  46. Jose, A., & Lee, S. M. (2007). Environmental reporting of global corporations: A content analysis based on website disclosures. Journal of Business Ethics, 72(4), 307–321.Google Scholar
  47. Kauffmann, C., & Less, C. T. (2009). Business and climate change: An MNE guidelines perspective. Paris: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development—OECD.Google Scholar
  48. Ki-moon, B. (2012). Secretary-General to Global Development Center: ‘Energy is the Golden Thread’ Connecting Economic Growth, Social Equity, Environmental Sustainability. Secretary-General: Statements and Messages. United Nations. https://www.un.org/press/en/2012/sgsm14242.doc.htm. Accessed 2 Mar 2018.
  49. Lamarche, T., & Rubinstein, M. (2012). Dynamics of corporate social responsibility: Towards a new ‘conception of control’? Journal of Institutional Economics, 8(02), 161–186.Google Scholar
  50. Laskar, N., & Maji, S. G. (2016). Corporate sustainability reporting practices in India: Myth or reality? Social Responsibility Journal, 12(4), 625–641.Google Scholar
  51. Lund-Thomsen, P., Lindgreen, A., & Vanhamme, J. (2016). Special issue on industrial clusters and corporate social responsibility in developing countries. Journal of Business Ethics, 133(1), 5–8.Google Scholar
  52. Lundvall, B. Å., Joseph, K. J., Chaminade, C., & Vang, J. (2011). Handbook of innovation systems and developing countries: Building domestic capabilities in a global setting. (B. Å. Lundvall, K. J. Joseph, C. Chaminade, & J. Vang, Eds.). Cheltenham-Northampton: Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd.Google Scholar
  53. Luo, X., & Bhattacharya, C. B. (2006). Corporate social responsibility, customer and satisfaction, and market value. Journal of Marketing, 70(4), 1–18.Google Scholar
  54. Málovics, G., Csigéné, N. N., & Kraus, S. (2008). The role of corporate social responsibility in strong sustainability. The Journal of Socio-Economics, 37(3), 907–918.Google Scholar
  55. Mazurkiewicz, P. (2004). Corporate environmental responsibility: Is a common CSR framework possible?Working Paper. Washington, DC: World Bank. http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/577051468339093024/pdf/421830csrframework01PUBLIC1.pdf. Accessed 27 Feb 2018.
  56. McCollum, D., Echeverri, L. G., Riahi, K., & Parkinson, S. (2017). SDG 7 ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. In M. Nilsson, D. Griggs, M. Visbeck, C. Ringler, & D. McCollum (Eds.), A guide to SDG interactions: From science to implementation (pp. 127–173). Paris: International Council for Science—ICSU.Google Scholar
  57. Moon, J. (2007). The contribution of corporate social responsibility to sustainable development. Sustainable Development, 15(5), 296–306.Google Scholar
  58. Munguia, N., Vargas-Betancourt, N., Esquer, J., Giannetti, B. F., Liu, G., & Velazquez, L. E. (2018). Driving competitive advantage through energy efficiency in Mexican maquiladoras. Journal of Cleaner Production, 172, 3379–3386.Google Scholar
  59. OECD. (2007). OECD Contribution to the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development 15: Energy for Sustainable Development. Paris: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.Google Scholar
  60. Oh, H., Bae, J., & Kim, S. J. (2017). Can sinful firms benefit from advertising their CSR efforts? Adverse effect of advertising sinful firms’ CSR engagements on firm performance. Journal of Business Ethics, 143(4), 643–663.Google Scholar
  61. Oshika, T., & Saka, C. (2017). Sustainability KPIs for integrated reporting. Social Responsibility Journal, 13(3), 625–642.Google Scholar
  62. Palys, T. (2008). Purposive sampling. In L. M. Given (Ed.), The sage encyclopedia of qualitative research methods (Vol. 2, pp. 697–698). Los Angeles: SAGE.Google Scholar
  63. Rahmawati, P. I., DeLacy, T., & Jiang, M. (2016). Harmonising CSR and Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies to Build Community Adaptive Capacity in Bali’s Tourism Sector. In L. K. Guliani & S. A. Rizwan (Eds.), Corporate Social Responsibility in the Hospitality and Tourism Industry (pp. 247–267). IGI Global.Google Scholar
  64. REEEP, & UNIDO. (2011). REEEP/UNIDO Training package: Sustainable energy regulation and policymarking for Africa. Vienna: Renewable energy and energy efficiency partnership and United Nations Industrial Development Organization.Google Scholar
  65. Rego, A., Cunha, M. P., & Polónia, D. (2017). Corporate sustainability: A view from the top. Journal of Business Ethics, 143(1), 133–157.Google Scholar
  66. Rexhepi, G., Kurtishi, S., & Bexheti, G. (2013). Corporate social responsibility (CSR) and innovation-the drivers of business growth? Procedia—Social and Behavioral Sciences, 75, 532–541.Google Scholar
  67. Rosen-Zvi, I. (2011). You are too soft: What can corporate social responsibility do for climate change? Minnesota Journal of Law, Science & Technology, 12(2), 527–570.Google Scholar
  68. Russell, D. (2014). Corporate sustainability: Accounting standards vs tax by design. Social Responsibility Journal, 10(3), 386–398.Google Scholar
  69. Sandberg, M., & Holmlund, M. (2015). Impression management tactics in sustainability reporting. Social Responsibility Journal, 11(4), 677–689.Google Scholar
  70. Scherer, A. G. (2017). Theory assessment and agenda setting in political CSR: A critical theory perspective. International Journal of Management Reviews, 20(2), 387–410.Google Scholar
  71. Shi, G., Sun, J., Zhang, L., & Jin, Y. (2017). Corporate social responsibility and geographic dispersion. Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, 36(6), 417–428.Google Scholar
  72. Stevelman, F. (2009). Globalization and corporate social responsibility: Challenges for the academy, future lawyers, and corporate law. New York Law School Law Review, 53(4), 817–858.Google Scholar
  73. Terrapon-Pfaff, J., Dienst, C., König, J., & Ortiz, W. (2014). A cross-sectional review: Impacts and sustainability of small-scale renewable energy projects in developing countries. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 40, 1–10.Google Scholar
  74. Thiede, S. (2012). Energy efficiency in manufacturing systems. Berlin: Springer.Google Scholar
  75. Tran, M. A., Nguyen, B., Melewar, T. C., & Bodoh, J. (2015). Exploring the corporate image formation process. Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, 18(1), 86–114.Google Scholar
  76. UK Essays. (2016). The Effect Of Globalisation On Corporate Social Responsibility. All Answers Ltd. https://www.ukessays.com/essays/economics/the-effect-of-globalisation-on-corporate-social-responsibility-economics-essay.php. Accessed 14 Dec 2018.
  77. UN. (2012). Sustainable Energy for All: A Global Action Agenda - Pathways for Concerted Action toward Sustainable Energy for All. New York: United Nations.Google Scholar
  78. UN. (2016). Report of the inter-agency and expert group on sustainable development goal indicators. New York: United Nations. https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/11803Official-List-of-Proposed-SDGIndicators.pdf. Accessed 7 Jan 2019.
  79. UNDP & UNRISD. (2017). Global Trends: Challenges and Opportunities in the Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. New York-Geneva: United Nations Development Programme and United Nations Research Institute for Social Development.Google Scholar
  80. UNIDO. (2011). Guidelines on climate change and corporate social responsibility. Vienna: United Nations Industrial Development Organization.Google Scholar
  81. Unsworth, K. L., Sally, V. R., & y Matthew, C. D. (2016). Is dealing with climate change a corporation’s responsibility? A social contract perspective. Frontiers in Psychology, 7, 1212.Google Scholar
  82. Uusimaa Regional Council. (2007). Energy, future, ResponsibilityPromoting energy saving and corporate social responsibility in Baltic Sea Region. Helsinki: Uusimaa Regional Council.Google Scholar
  83. Van Der Kroon, B., Brouwer, R., & Van Beukering, P. J. H. (2013). The energy ladder: Theoretical myth or empirical truth? Results from a meta-analysis. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 20, 504–513.Google Scholar
  84. Vildåsen, S. S., Keitsch, M., & Fet, A. M. (2017). Clarifying the epistemology of corporate sustainability. Ecological Economics, 138, 40–46.Google Scholar
  85. Wagner, T., Lutz, R. J., & Weitz, B. A. (2009). Corporate hypocrisy: Overcoming the threat of inconsistent corporate social responsibility perceptions. Journal of Marketing, 73(6), 77–91.Google Scholar
  86. Wang, Y., & Brown, M. A. (2014). Policy drivers for improving electricity end-use efficiency in the USA: An economic–engineering analysis. Energy Efficiency, 7(3), 517–546.Google Scholar
  87. Wang, X., Feng, M., & Chen, K. (2016). Exploring variations of corporate social responsibility across business sectors and geographic scope. Journal of Applied Business and Economics, 18(7), 65–78.Google Scholar
  88. WHO. (2002). Addressing the links between indoor air pollution, household energy and human health. Geneva: World Health Organization.Google Scholar
  89. WHO. (2018). Broader impacts of household energy. World Health Organization. http://www.who.int/indoorair/impacts/en/. Accessed 28 Feb 2018.
  90. Wijethilake, C. (2017). Proactive sustainability strategy and corporate sustainability performance: The mediating effect of sustainability control systems. Journal of Environmental Management, 196, 569–582.Google Scholar
  91. Witkowska, J. (2016). Corporate social responsibility: Selected theoretical and empirical aspects. Comparative Economic Research, 19(1), 27–43.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Business AdministrationPrince Sultan UniversityRiyadhSaudi Arabia
  2. 2.St Antony’s CollegeUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK
  3. 3.Sustainability Graduate Program, Industrial Engineering DepartmentUniversity of SonoraHermosilloMexico

Personalised recommendations