© 2004

The Business of Sustainability

Building Industry Cases for Corporate Sustainability

  • Editors
  • Ulrich Steger

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xviii
  2. Building a Business Case: General Findings, Observations and Lessons Learned

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Ulrich Steger
      Pages 11-60
    3. Ulrich Steger
      Pages 61-72
  3. Industry Reports

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 73-73
    2. Marc Brunner
      Pages 75-98
    3. Achim Gebel
      Pages 99-123
    4. Oliver Salzmann
      Pages 124-151
    5. Hans-Jörg Hess
      Pages 152-177
    6. Aileen Ionescu-Somers
      Pages 178-198
    7. Oliver Eckelmann
      Pages 199-221
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 222-238

About this book


Most academics and certainly most sustainability managers agree that research on the 'business case' for sustainability has been very inconclusive. In fact many have simply decided that the business case for sustainability is elusive. This book goes further than ever before in trying to be more specific about the economic rationale for corporate sustainability, by approaching this issue on an industry-specific level. To do this, empirical evidence was gathered from managers in nine industries, along with their stakeholders, during an extensive and ambitious research project. The book gives a detailed and representative insight of the business case in the nine sectors but also a unique cross-industry perspective on this issue.


automotive industry business energy research service stakeholder sustainability

About the authors

MARC BRUNNER Technische Universität Berlin, Germany OLIVER ECHELMANN Technische Universität Berlin, Germany ACHIM GEBEL Technische Universität Berlin, Germany HANS-JÖRG HESS Technische Universität Berlin, Germany AILEEN IONESCU-SOMERS Researcher, Forum for Corporate Sustainability Management, IMD,Switzerland and University College Cork, Ireland OLIVER SALZMANN Researcher, Forum for Corporate Sustainability Management, IMD, Switzerland and Technische Universität Berlin, Germany.

Bibliographic information

Industry Sectors
Chemical Manufacturing
Consumer Packaged Goods
Materials & Steel
Finance, Business & Banking


'This book is a major contribution to the Business Case debate and both insightful and useful for corporate executives, especially of the more skeptical kind. It also delivers excellent material for the classrooms of MBA and Executive education, where the need for this kind of contribution is even greater.' - Prof Gilbert Lenssen, President European Academy of Business in Society (EABIS)

'This book presents groundbreaking conclusions on a subject that has become highly relevant to modern-day corporations: the economic reasons why companies integrate social and environmental into business strategy. I would advise any business executive who is seeking an overview or indeed a focused industry perspective on this issue to read this book. Based on solid empirical foundations, it is, to my knowledge, also the first-ever comprehensive attempt to look at the business case for sustainability from an industry-specific perspective.' - Peter Forstmoser, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Swiss Reinsurance

'DaimlerChrysler gained additional insight from participating in the research Building a Business Case for Corporate Sustainability. The Case provides helpful hints on the economic logic to be covered in this area and provides ideas on how to move forward strategically.' - Dr. Rüdiger Grube, Member of the Management Board of DaimlerChrysler

'For those with a real interest in corporate sustainability and a desire to make it work in practice, this book will prove an invaluable resource. Detailed and authoritative, it provides a compelling analysis of the issues facing businesses today.' John Ling, Chartered Institute of Marketing Magazine