Category Archives: Circular Economy

Product-Service Systems for Sustainable Businesses

This is an excerpt from my latest paper: Camilleri, M. A. (2018). The circular economy’s closed loop and product service systems for sustainable development: A review and appraisal. Sustainable Development. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1002/sd.1909

(c) The Sustainable Business Edit

Many academic commentators claim that product-service systems (PSS) are moving society towards a resource‐efficient, circular economy (CE) (Tukker, 2015; Piscicelli et al., 2015; Yuan et al., 2006). PSSs shift the businesses’ focus from designing and selling only physical products, to selling a marketable set of products, services, supporting networks, and infrastructures, by including repair and maintenance, updates/upgrades, help desk, training and consultancy, and disposal‐services such as recycling and take‐back (Gaiardelli et al., 2014). Therefore, PSS consists of tangible products as well as intangible services that are combined so that they are jointly capable of satisfying the consumers’ demands (Hockerts & Weaver, 2002).

PSS providers are in a position to design need‐fulfilment systems with lower impacts to the environment, by either replacing an alternative product‐service mix or by influencing the customers’ activities to become more eco‐efficient. Tukker (2015) suggested that firms have an incentive to prolong the service life of their products and to make them as cost‐ and material‐efficient as possible. Moreover, PSSs would typically extend beyond purchase, affecting the use and disposal of resources. Hence, these systems could lead to the minimisation of material flows in the economy whilst maximising the businesses’ service output and their users’ satisfaction (Tukker & Tischner, 2006). There are three types of PSSs that prescribe different product service components and ownership packages:

(a) a product‐PSS that adds extra services but the ownership of the product(s) is transferred to the consumer(s);

(b) the results‐PSSs that would involve both parties agreeing to achieve target results, as they recast product(s) as utilised materials;

(c) in use‐PSSs, the provider(s) lease, share or pool their product(s); however, they retain the ownership of the product(s).

For instance, Koninklijke Philips N.V. (Royal Philips, commonly known as Philips), a diversified technology company utilises the use‐PSS approach, as it provides a lighting service to customers and is responsible for its technology risk. The Dutch company installs its lighting equipment (including street lighting), maintains it, and ensures that it runs for a very long time. Eventually, it reclaims back its equipment when it is the right time to recycle materials. This property rights are distributed amongst Philips and its clients, over the life time of the products. Philips has recognised an untapped opportunity to retain ownership of its products, as it has committed itself to dispose of the infrastructure and its constituent parts at their end of life. At the same time, customers (including the government) do not have to pay high upfront costs for their lighting equipment. Interestingly, Philips is also adopting a similar PSS within health care environments where it has established leasing relationships with clients for its medical infrastructure. Again, the company will eventually reclaim back its equipment and upgrades it when necessary. When the medical equipment is refurbished with the state‐of‐the art technology, the multinational firm will reuse it for another customer; it provides a warrantee cover and guarantees its products as new.

The idea of shared ownership is conspicuous with the results‐ and use‐PSSs. These systems have led to upstream effects (through sustainable designs) and increased throughput. As a result, they are sustainable in the long run, as there are less externalities, in terms of waste and emissions.

References

Camilleri, M. A.(2017). Corporate sustainability, social responsibility and 
environmental management: An introduction to theory and practice with 
case studies. Cham: Springer Nature.

Gaiardelli, P.,Resta, B., Martinez, V., Pinto, R., & Albores, P. (2014). A
classification model for product‐service offerings. Journal of cleaner 
production, 66,507–519.

Hockerts, K.,& Weaver, N. (2002). Are service systems worth our interest.
Assessing the eco‐efficiency of sustainable service systems. Working document, INSEADFontainebleau, France.

Piscicelli, L.,Cooper, T., & Fisher, T. (2015). The role of values in collaborative
consumption:Insights from a product service system for lending
and borrowing in the UK. Journal of Cleaner Production, 97, 21–29. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2014.07.032

Tukker, A. (2015). Product services for a resource‐efficient andcircular
economy—A review. Journal of Cleaner Production, 97, 76–91. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2013.11.049

Tukker, A., &Tischner, U. (2006). Product‐services as a research field: Past, present and future. Reflections from a decade of research. Journal of 
Cleaner Production, 14(17),1552–1556. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2006.01.02

Yuan, Z., Bi, J.,& Moriguichi, Y. (2006). The circular economy: A new development strategy in China.Journal of Industrial Ecology, 10(1), 4–8.



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The Circular Economy and the Sustainability Agenda

This is excerpt from my latest paper that was accepted by ‘Sustainable Development’ (Wiley).

How to Cite: Camilleri, M.A. (2018). The Circular Economy’s Closed Loop and Product Service Systems for Sustainable Development: A Review and Appraisal. Sustainable Development. Forthcoming.

The Brundtland Report (WCED, 1987) defined sustainable development as; “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (p. 43). Its underlying assumption is that the world’s physical resources are not finite, therefore, they have to be managed responsibly to sustain future generations. Subsequently, the United Nations (UN) Conference on Environment and Development has put forward Agenda 21 that dedicated a chapter that was focused on unsustainable patterns of production and consumption. This document recommended that the UN’s member states ought to intensify their efforts to reduce the use of scarce resources during production processes, whilst minimising the environmental impacts from generation of waste and pollution (Agenda 21, 1992).

In 2002, the UN Report of the World Summit on Sustainable Development also made reference to unsustainable patterns of production and consumption. The UN’s member states were urged to manage their natural resources sustainably and with lower negative environmental impacts; by promoting the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and ecosystems, whilst reducing waste (WSSD, 2002, p 13). Moreover, in another resolution, entitled; “The future we want”, the General Assembly at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development has reaffirmed its commitment to implementing green economy policies in the context of sustainable development. The Heads of State and Government or their representatives have agreed to continue promoting the integrated and sustainable management of eco-systems; whilst facilitating their conservation, regeneration and restoration of resources (UNCSD, 2012). Furthermore, during the UN’s General Assembly Resolution of 25 September 2015, entitled; “Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” the world leaders have agreed to adopt the Sustainable Development Goals that replaced the previous millennium development goals that were established in the year 2000. Specifically, the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12 of the 2030 agenda, namely; “Sustainable Consumption and Production” explained that there is an opportunity for business and industry to reap economic gains through resource and energy efficiencies. It also raised awareness on the use of sustainable infrastructures and urged the UN member states to address air, water and soil pollution to minimise their environmental impact (UNDP, 2015). Moreover, the Paris Climate Agreement (COP 21) and Resolutions 1/5 and 2/7 on chemicals and waste, and 2/8 on sustainable production and consumption, as adopted by the 1st and 2nd sessions of the United Nations Environment Assembly (that was held in Nairobi, Kenya on the 27th June 2014 and the 27th May 2016), are also considered as important policy instruments for many stakeholders, as they have paved the way for the transition toward the circular economy strategy.

These intergovernmental policy recommendations on sustainable consumption and production have led to increased regulatory pressures on business and industry toward controlled operations management and environmentally-responsible practices. In 2014, the European Union (EU) Commission anticipated that, “new business models, eco-designs and industrial symbiosis can move the community toward zero-waste; reduce greenhouse emissions and environmental impacts” (EU, 2018). Eventually, in March 2017, the EU Commission and the European Economic and Social Committee organised a Circular Economy Stakeholder Conference, where it reported on the delivery and progress of some of its Action Plan. It also established a Finance Support Platform with the European Investment Bank (EIB) and issued important guidance documents to Member States on the conversion of waste to energy.

Other EU Communications on this subject, comprised: “Innovation for a sustainable future – The Eco-innovation Action Plan“; “Building the Single Market for Green Products: Facilitating better information on the environmental performance of products and organisations“; “Green Action Plan for SMEs: enabling SMEs to turn environmental challenges into business opportunities“; “Closing the loop –An EU action plan for the Circular Economy” and the report on its implementation, and “Investing in a smart, innovative and sustainable Industry – A renewed EU Industrial Policy Strategy“, among others (EU, 2017). Recently, the EU commission has adopted a set of measures, including; a “Strategy for Plastics in the Circular Economy” that specified that all plastics packaging will have to be recyclable by 2030; It released a communication on the interface between chemical, product and waste legislation, as it explains how they relate to each other. Moreover, the commission launched a Monitoring Framework that may be used to assess the progress of its member states towards the implementation of the circular economy action plan. This framework is composed of a set of ten key indicators, comprising; 1) EU self-sufficiency for raw materials; 2) Green public procurement; 3a-c) Waste generation; 4) Food waste, 5a-b) Overall recycling rates, 6a-f) Recycling rates for specific waste streams, 7a-b) Contribution of recycled materials to raw materials demand, 8) Trade in recyclable raw materials, 9a-c) Private investments, jobs and gross value added, and 10) Patents. Furthermore, (EU, 2018) published a report on the supply and demand of critical raw materials that are used in mining, landfills, electrical and electronic equipment, batteries, automotive sector, renewable energy, defence industry as well as for chemicals and fertilizers.


References

Agenda 21. 1992. United Nations Conference on Environment & Development. Rio de Janerio, Brazil, 3 to 14 June 1992. United Nations Sustainable Development. https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/Agenda21.pdf [6 July 2018].

EU 2017. Council conclusions on eco-innovation: enabling the transition towards a circulareconomy. European Council of the European Union, Brussels, Belgium. http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2017/12/18/council-conclusions-on-eco-innovation-transition-towards-a-circular-economy/#[5th July 2018].

EU 2018. Implementation of the Circular Economy Action Plan. European Commission.  http://ec.europa.eu/environment/circular-economy/index_en.htm[5th July 2018].

UNCSD 2012. The Future We Want – Outcome document. Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 27 July 2012. United Nations  General Assembly. http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/RES/66/288&Lang=E [25 June 2018].

UNDP 2015. Transforming our World. Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 25 September 2015. http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/population/migration/generalassembly/docs/globalcompact/A_RES_70_1_E.pdf [25 June 2018].

WSSD 2002. United Nations Report of the World Summit on Sustainable Development. Johannesburg, South Africa, 26 August- 4 September 2002.  http://www.un-documents.net/aconf199-20.pdf [29 June 2018].

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Closing the loop for resource efficiency, sustainable consumption and production: a critical review of the circular economy

Abstract: The circular economy proposition is not a novel concept. However, it has recently stimulated sustainable consumption and production ideas on remanufacturing, refurbishing and recycling of materials. A thorough literature review suggests that the circular economys regenerative systems are intended to minimise industrial waste, emissions, and energy leakages through the creation of long-lasting designs that improve resource efficiencies. In this light, this research critically analyses the circular economys closed loop systems. The findings suggest that this sustainable development model could unleash a new wave of operational improvements and enhanced productivity levels through waste management and the responsible use and reuse of materials in business and industry. In conclusion, this research implies that closed loop and product service systems could result in significant efficiencies in sustainable consumption and production of resources

How to Cite: Camilleri, M.A. (2018). Closing the Loop for Resource Efficiency, Sustainable Consumption and Production: A Critical Review of the Circular Economy. International Journal of Sustainable Development (forthcoming). DOI: 10.1504/IJSD.2018.10012310

Keywords: circular economy; resource efficiency; corporate sustainability; creating shared value; corporate social responsibility; strategic CSR; stakeholder engagement; social responsibility; recycling resources; reusing resources; restoring resources; reducing resources.

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An Authoritative Textbook on Responsible Management for Business Students

Springer Nature’s “Corporate Sustainability, Social Responsibility and Environmental Management” was one of the top 25% most downloaded eBooks in 2017.

This book can be ordered/downloaded directly from its home pa ge.Alternatively,  it is available in the following online shop(s):


This publication provides a concise and authoritative guide on corporate social responsibility (CSR) and related paradigms, including environmental responsibility, corporate sustainability and responsibility, creating shared value, strategic CSR, stakeholder engagement, corporate citizenship, business ethics and corporate governance, among others. It is primarily intended for advanced undergraduate and / or graduate students. Moreover, it is highly relevant for future entrepreneurs, small business owners, non-profit organisations and charitable foundations, as it addresses the core aspects of contemporary strategies, public policies and practices. It also features case studies on international policies and principles, exploring corporate businesses’ environmental, social and governance reporting.

“Mark Camilleri’s new book provides an excellent overview of the eclectic academic literature in this area, and presents a lucid description of how savvy companies can embed themselves in circular systems that reduce system-wide externalities, increase economic value, and build reputation. A valuable contribution.”
Charles J. Fombrun, Founder of Reputation Institute and a former Professor of Management at New York University and The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, USA

“I am pleased to recommend Dr. Camilleri’s latest book, Corporate Sustainability, Social Responsibility, and Environmental Management. The book is a rich source of thought for everyone who wants to get deeper insights into this important topic. The accompanying five detailed case studies on a wide array of corporate sustainable and responsible initiatives are helpful in demonstrating how theoretical frameworks have been implemented into practical initiatives. This book is a critical companion for academics, students, and practitioners.”
Adam Lindgreen, Professor and Head of Department of Marketing, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark

“This book is an essential resource for students, practitioners, and scholars. Dr. Mark Camilleri skillfully delivers a robust summary of research on the business and society relationship and insightfully points to new understandings of and opportunities for responsible business conduct. I highly recommend Corporate Sustainability, Social Responsibility, and Environmental Management: An Introduction to Theory and Practice with Case Studies.”
Diane L. Swanson, Professor and Chair of Distinction in Business Administration and Ethics Education at Kansas State University, KS, USA

“Mark’s latest book is lucid, insightful, and highly useful in the classroom. I strongly recommend it.”
Donald Siegel, Dean of the School of Business and Professor of Management at the University at Albany, State University of New York, NY, USA

“The theory and practice of corporate sustainability, social responsibility and environmental management is complex and dynamic. This book will help scholars to navigate through the maze. Dr Camilleri builds on the foundations of leading academics, and shows how the subject continues to evolve. The book also acknowledges the importance of CSR 2.0 – or transformative corporate sustainability and responsibility – as a necessary vision of the future.”
Wayne Visser, Senior Associate at Cambridge University, UK. He is the author of CSR 2.0: Transforming Corporate Sustainability & Responsibility and Sustainable Frontiers: Unlocking Change Through Business, Leadership and Innovation

“Corporate Sustainability, Social Responsibility and Environmental Management: An Introduction to Theory and Practice with Case Studies” provides a useful theoretical and practical overview of CSR and the importance of practicing corporate sustainability.”
Geoffrey P. Lantos, Professor of Business Administration, Stonehill College. Easton, Massachusetts, USA

“This book offers a truly comprehensive guide to current concepts and debates in the area of corporate responsibility and sustainability. It gives helpful guidance to all those committed to mainstreaming responsible business practices in an academically reflected, yet practically relevant, way.”
Andreas Rasche, Professor of Business in Society, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark

“A very useful resource with helpful insights and supported by an enriching set of case studies.”
Albert Caruana, Professor of Marketing at the University of Malta, Malta and at the University of Bologna, Italy

“A good overview of the latest thinking about Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainable Management based on a sound literature review as well as useful case studies. Another step forward in establishing a new business paradigm.”
René Schmidpeter, Professor of International Business Ethics and CSR at Cologne Business School (CBS), Germany

“Dr. Camilleri’s book is a testimony to the continuous need around the inquiry and advocacy of the kind of responsibility that firms have towards societal tenets. Understanding how CSR can become a modern manifestation of deep engagement into socio-economic undercurrents of our firms, is the book’s leading contribution to an important debate, that is more relevant today than ever before.”
Mark Esposito, Professor of Business and Economics at Harvard University, MA, USA

“Mark’s book is a great addition to the literature on CSR and EM; it will fill one of the gaps that have continued to exist in business and management schools, since there are insufficient cases for teaching and learning in CSR and Environmental Management in Business Schools around the globe.”
Samuel O. Idowu, Senior Lecturer in Accounting at London Metropolitan University, UK; Professor of CSR at Nanjing University of Finance and Economics, China and a Deputy CEO, Global Corporate Governance Institute, USA

“Corporate Social Responsibility has grown from ‘nice to have’ for big companies to a necessity for all companies. Dr Mark Camilleri sketches with this excellent book the current debate in CSR and CSR communication and with his cases adds valuable insights in the ongoing development and institutionalization of CSR in nowadays business.”
Wim J.L. Elving, Professor at the University of Amsterdam, Netherlands

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Special Offer > Get 20% off this Springer business textbook on Corporate Social Responsibility

flyer

*This offer is valid from 1st April to 1st May 2017.

This business text-book can be purchased from Springer or Amazon.

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About Mark Anthony Camilleri, the Author of Springer’s Corporate Sustainability, Social Responsibility and Environmental Management

The University of Malta’s promising academic, Dr Mark Anthony CAMILLERI lectures in an international masters programme run by the University of Malta in collaboration with King’s College, University of London. Mark specialises in strategic management, marketing, research and evaluation. He successfully finalised his PhD (Management) in three years time at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland – where he was also nominated for his “Excellence in Teaching”. During the past years, Mark taught business subjects at under-graduate, vocational and post-graduate levels in Hong Kong, Malta and the UK.

Dr Camilleri has published his research in reputable peer-reviewed journals. He is a member on the editorial board of Springer’s International Journal of Corporate Social Responsibility and Inderscience’s International Journal of Responsible Management in Emerging Economies. He is a frequent speaker and reviewer at the American Marketing Association’s (AMA) Marketing & Public Policy conference, in the Academy of International Business (AIB) and in the Academy of Management’s (AoM) annual gatherings. Mark is also a member of the academic advisory committee in the Global Corporate Governance Institute (USA).

Dr Camilleri’s first book, entitled; “Creating Shared Value through Strategic CSR in Tourism” (2013) was published in Germany. This year Springer will publish his latest book; “Corporate Sustainability, Social Responsibility and Environmental Management: An Introduction to Theory and Practice with Case Studies” (2017). Moreover, he edited a U.S. publication, entitled; “CSR 2.0 and the New Era of Corporate Citizenship” (2017). His short contributions are often featured in popular media outlets such as the Times of Malta, Business2Community, Social Media Today, Triple Pundit, CSRwire and the Shared Value Initiative.

Mark’s professional experience spans from project management, strategic management, business planning (including market research), management information systems (MIS), customer relationship and database marketing to public relations, marketing communications, branding and reputation management (using both conventional tools and digital marketing).

His latest book can be purchased from https://www.amazon.co.uk/Corporate-Sustainability-Responsibility-Environmental-Management/dp/3319468480 or http://www.springer.com/gb/book/9783319468488

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Springer’s latest book on Strategic Management; Corporate Sustainability, Social Responsibility and Environmental Management

csr2This book provides a concise and authoritative guide to corporate social responsibility (CSR) and its related paradigms, including environmental responsibility, corporate sustainability and responsibility, creating shared value, strategic CSR, stakeholder engagement, corporate citizenship, business ethics and corporate governance, among others. It is primarily intended for advanced undergraduate and / or graduate students. Moreover, this publication is highly relevant for future entrepreneurs, small business owners, non-profit organisations and charitable foundations, as it addresses the core aspects of contemporary strategies, public policies and practices. It also features case studies on international policies and principles, exploring corporate businesses’ environmental, social and governance reporting.

Corporate Sustainability, Social Responsibility and Environmental Management: An Introduction to Theory and Practice with Case Studies – by Mark Anthony Camilleri,PhD (Edinburgh)

Google Scholar Citation

Google Books

The book includes a foreword by Professor Emeritus Archie B. Carroll, who is one of the pioneers of the CSR paradigm. It also features numerous endorsements from accomplished academic researchers:

“There’s a revolution taking place, one that’s percolating from the uncoordinated efforts of activist consumers/NGOs, regulators/moralists, and corporate/institutional investors. Mark Camilleri’s new book provides an excellent overview of the eclectic academic literature in this area, and presents a lucid description of how savvy companies can embed themselves in circular systems that reduce system-wide externalities, increase economic value, and build reputation. A valuable contribution.”

Charles J. Fombrun, Founder of Reputation Institute and a former Professor of Management at New York University and The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, USA.

 

“I am pleased to recommend Dr. Camilleri’s latest book, Corporate Sustainability, Social Responsibility, and Environmental Management. The book is a rich source of thought for everyone who wants to get deeper insights into this important topic. The accompanying five detailed case studies on a wide array of corporate sustainable and responsible initiatives are helpful in demonstrating how theoretical frameworks have been implemented into practical initiatives. This book is a critical companion for academics, students, and practitioners.”

Adam Lindgreen, Professor and Head of Department of Marketing, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark.

 

“This book is an essential resource for students, practitioners, and scholars. Dr. Mark Camilleri skillfully delivers a robust summary of research on the business and society relationship and insightfully points to new understandings of and opportunities for responsible business conduct. I highly recommend Corporate Sustainability, Social Responsibility, and Environmental Management: An Introduction to Theory and Practice with Case Studies.”

Diane L. Swanson, Professor and Chair of Distinction in Business Administration and Ethics Education at Kansas State University, KS, USA.

 

“Mark’s latest book is lucid, insightful, and highly useful in the classroom. I strongly recommend it.”

Donald Siegel, Dean of the School of Business and Professor of Management at the University at Albany, State University of New York, NY, USA.

 

“The theory and practice of corporate sustainability, social responsibility and environmental management is complex and dynamic. This book will help scholars to navigate through the maze. Dr Camilleri builds on the foundations of leading academics, and shows how the subject continues to evolve. The book also acknowledges the importance of CSR 2.0 – or transformative corporate sustainability and responsibility – as a necessary vision of the future.”

Wayne Visser, Senior Associate at Cambridge University, UK. He is the author of CSR 2.0: Transforming Corporate Sustainability & Responsibility and Sustainable Frontiers: Unlocking Change Through Business, Leadership and Innovation.

 

“Corporate Sustainability, Social Responsibility and Environmental Management: An Introduction to Theory and Practice with Case Studies” provides a useful theoretical and practical overview of CSR and the importance of practicing corporate sustainability.”

Geoffrey P. Lantos, Professor of Business Administration, Stonehill College. Easton, Massachusetts, USA.

 

“This book offers a truly comprehensive guide to current concepts and debates in the area of corporate responsibility and sustainability. It gives helpful guidance to all those committed to mainstreaming responsible business practices in an academically reflected, yet practically relevant, way.”

Andreas Rasche, Professor of Business in Society, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark.

 

“A very useful resource with helpful insights and supported by an enriching set of case studies”

Albert Caruana, Professor of Marketing at the University of Malta, Malta and at the University of Bologna, Italy.

 

“A good overview of the latest thinking about Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainable Management based on a sound literature review as well as useful case studies. Another step forward in establishing a new business paradigm.”

René Schmidpeter, Professor of International Business Ethics and CSR at Cologne Business School (CBS), Germany.

 

“Dr. Camilleri’s book is a testimony to the continuous need around the inquiry and advocacy of the kind of responsibility that firms have towards societal tenets. Understanding how CSR can become a modern manifestation of deep engagement into socio-economic undercurrents of our firms, is the book’s leading contribution to an important debate, that is more relevant today than ever before”

Mark Esposito, Professor of Business and Economics at Harvard University, MA, USA.

 

“Mark’s book is a great addition to the literature on CSR and EM; it will fill one of the gaps that have continued to exist in business and management schools, since there are insufficient cases for teaching and learning in CSR and Environmental Management in Business Schools around the globe.”

Samuel O. Idowu, Senior Lecturer in Accounting at London Metropolitan University, UK; a Professor of CSR at Nanjing University of Finance and Economics, China and a Deputy CEO, Global Corporate Governance Institute, US

 

“Corporate Social Responsibility has grown from ‘nice to have’ for big companies to a necessity for all companies. Dr Mark Camilleri sketches with this excellent book the current debate in CSR and CSR communication and with his cases adds valuable insights in the ongoing development and institutionalization of CSR in nowadays business”.

Wim J.L. Elving, A/Professor at the University of Amsterdam, Netherlands.

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Stakeholder engagement for corporate citizenship (in the U.S.A.)

thm3rqcunjThe US government agencies and the bureaus regulatory policies and principles are creating both challenging opportunities and threats for the businesses. Evidently, the institutional legacies are affecting the ways in which civil society, industry and NGOs interact together (Camilleri, 2015). This reasoning echoes the legitimacy theory as heterogenous, competing groups of stakeholders often expect and solicit social and environmentally responsible behaviours from businesses. Debatably, the U.S. government and its agencies should ensure that the true ecological cost of environmental degradation and climate change is felt in the market. In this light, there may be scope for U.S.  authorities to promote responsible behaviors.

 

For instance, recently there is an increased awareness on the circular economies that are characterised by their resource efficiency levels and cleaner production through recycling, reducing and reusing materials (EU, 2015; Geng, Fu, Sarkis and Xue, 2012; Geng and Doberstein, 2008).

US corporations should be urged to find alternative ways for sustainable energy generation, energy and water conservation, environmental protection and greener transportation systems. This way, they will be considered as legitimate businesses; as their corporate performance matches their stakeholders’ expectations (Camilleri, 2016; 2015). The organisations’ implementation of their legitimation strategy could include voluntary and solicited CSR disclosures that address norms, values or beliefs of stakeholders (Reverte, 2009). Responsible companies could be in a position to prevent third-party pressures through their engagement in social responsibility practices and sustainable behaviours. At the same time, they could lower the criticisms from the public and minimise their legal cases through their active compliance with regulations and guiding principles.

The organisations’ legitimacy is a critical driver for a dynamic institutional and organisational change (Tost, 2011). The organisations’ evaluative process was also suggested by Scherer et al. (2013) as they discussed about the corporations’ isomorphic adaptation to societal pressures. Yet, such political perspectives have often been considered as being overly normative (Kuhn and Deetz, 2008; Scherer and Palazzo, 2007) and of neglecting the complexity of the debates between corporations and society. Baur and Arenas (2014) also noted that the regulated interactions and the consensus building may not be required if corporations address the sustainable development issues. However, the responsible behavioural issues often call for the re-negotiation of social, economic, and environmental factors among regulatory authorities and other interested parties.

Indeed, addressing the environmental protection often requires shifting through a multitude of complex and often contradictory demands of stakeholders (Camilleri, 2015; Freeman, 2010; Hardy & Phillips, 1998) that are defined beyond nation-state governance institutions. Multiple ethical systems, cultural backgrounds, and rules of behaviour could possibly coexist within the same communities (Scherer & Palazzo, 2007) as the legitimacy of the business community around sustainable development issues is often being challenged (Porter & Kramer, 2011; Scherer & Palazzo, 2011).

Therefore, the stakeholder engagement processes are important instruments for legitimacy building as the pluralist nature of US politics encourages the formation of lobby groups and associations that are often regarded as legitimate representatives (Camilleri, 2016; Doh and Guay, 2006). Other previous research also contended that the legitimacy in resolving social responsibility and sustainable development issues often requires ‘the ability to establish trust-based collaborative relationships with a wide variety of stakeholders especially those with non-economic goals (Sharma & Vredenburg, 1998, p. 735). These stakeholders may have an accepted role in influencing the public policy process.

 

Excerpt from: Camilleri, M.A. (2016) Corporate Citizenship and Social Responsibility Policies in the United States of America. Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy (Forthcoming)

References

Baur, D. and Arenas, D. (2014), “The value of unregulated business-NGO interaction a deliberative perspective”, Business & Society, Vol. 53 No 2, pp. 157-186.
Camilleri, M..A. (2015), “Valuing Stakeholder Engagement and Sustainability Reporting”, Corporate Reputation Review, Vol. 18 No. 3, pp. 210-222.
Camilleri, M. A. (2016), “Corporate sustainability and responsibility toward education”, Journal of Global Responsibility, Vol. 7, No 1.
Doh, J.P. and Guay, T.R. (2006), “Corporate social responsibility, public policy, and NGO activism in Europe and the United States: An Institutional‐Stakeholder perspective”, Journal of Management Studies, Vol. 43 No. 1, pp. 47-73.
E.U. (2015), “Research and Innovation Industry 2020 in the Circular Economy” (Call identifier: H2020-IND-CE-2016-17. http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/portal/desktop/en/opportunities/h2020/calls/h2020-ind-ce-2016-17.html#c,topics=callIdentifier/t/H2020-IND-CE-2016-17/1/1/1&callStatus/t/Forthcoming/1/1/0&callStatus/t/Open/1/1/0&callStatus/t/Closed/1/1/0
Freeman, R. E. (2010), “Strategic management: A stakeholder approach”, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.
Geng, Y. and Doberstein, B. (2008), “Developing the circular economy in China: Challenges and opportunities for achieving’leapfrog development”, The International Journal of Sustainable Development & World Ecology, Vol. 15 No 3, pp. 231-239.
Geng, Y., Fu, J., Sarkis, J. and Xue, B. (2012), “Towards a national circular economy indicator system in China: an evaluation and critical analysis”, Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol. 23 No 1, pp. 216-224.
Hardy, C. and Phillips, N. (1998). “Strategies of engagement: Lessons from the critical examination of collaboration and conflict in an interorganizational domain”, Organization science, Vol. 9 No. 2, pp. 217-230.
Kuhn, T. and Deetz, S. (2008), “Critical theory and corporate social responsibility: Can/should we get beyond cynical reasoning”, In Crane, A., McWilliams, A., Matten, D., Moon, J. and Siegel, D., The Oxford handbook of corporate social responsibility, pp. 173-196.
Porter, M.E. and Kramer, M.R. (2011). “Creating shared value: How to reinvent capitalism and unleash a wave of innovation and growth”, Harvard Business Review, Vol. 89 Nos. 1-2, pp. 62–77.
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The Circular Economy Agenda for Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility

Most of the products we buy and consume are bound to reach their ‘end of life’ at some stage. To date, business and industry have customarily followed an economic model that is built on the premise of ‘take-make-consume and dispose’. When goods worn out or are no longer desired, they are often discarded as waste. Such a linear model also assumes that raw materials and resources are abundant, available and cheap to dispose of. However, the improper disposal of waste in landfills could cause health risks for society. Similarly, industrial and mining activities are causing resource depletion as well as pollution problems. The incineration of waste products also creates the need to dispose of residual toxic metals, including lead and mercury, which could also contaminate groundwater. Notwithstanding, it is envisaged that the reserves of some of globe’s key elements and minerals shall be depleted within the next century. At the same time, land degradation is constantly impacting on the natural environment, as arable land continues to disappear. In addition, plastic waste dumped into our seas and oceans is responsible for the deaths of millions of fish, seabirds, and sea mammals. Furthermore, the warming of the earth’s climate, that is one of the outcomes of carbon emissions from fossil fuels, is yet another serious problem facing today’s society.

The world’s growing populations and their increased wealth is inevitably leading to greater demands for limited and scarce resources. Boulding’s famous paper from 1966, “The economics of the coming spaceship Earth” anticipated that man will need to find his place in a cyclical ecological system which is capable of continuous reproduction of material. He went on to suggest that at the other end the effluents of the system are passed out into noneconomic reservoirs, including the atmosphere and the oceans. Of course, these ecological environments are not appropriated and do not enter into the exchange system. Twenty-five years ago, Granzin and Olsen (1991) reported that the US municipalities were already running out of landfills. These contentious issues underline the perennial conflict between economic development and environmental protection. Today’s society and its economic models still rely too much on resource extraction and depletion. If solutions are to be found, the public must be encouraged to alter a number of its irresponsible behaviours.

In this light, this contribution suggests that there is scope in using resources more efficiently; as better eco-designs, waste prevention and reuse of materials can possibly bring net savings for businesses, while also reducing emissions. In fact, WEF (2014) indicated that a shift towards CE can generate over US$ 500 million in material cost savings, 100,000 new jobs and prevent 100 million tons of waste globally, within five years. This means that there is a business case for CE as significant resource efficiencies could bring a new wave of smart, sustainable growth and competitiveness.

The basis of the CE economic approach lies in extracting the embedded costs of resources; through re-using, repairing, refurbishing, recycling and restoring materials and products throughout their life cycle. Arguably, what used to be regarded as ‘waste’ could be turned into a valuable resource for business and industry. The CE concept could be perceived as a response to the aspiration for sustainable growth in the context of increased regulatory pressures toward controlled operations management and environmentally responsible practices. Therefore, the setting of coherent policy frameworks and appropriate legislation could help to raise the bar for more responsible behaviours amongst public and private organisations.

Initially, the CE approach was being implemented in western countries were it was championed by a number of environmental NGOs (EMF, 2013; WEF, 2014). However, back in 2008, the People’s Republic of China had enacted a national law that promoted the CE model. Interestingly, China has experienced an average economic growth of 9.5% over the past two decades (since the start of their business-friendly policies and reforms). The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) has recognised the significance of the rapid industrialisation in the Chinese scenario. Hence, UNEP in collaboration with the European Commission and Asia Pro Eco Programme have supported the Chinese city of Guiyang through the ‘Policy Reinforcement for Environmentally-Sound and Socially-Responsible Economic Development – PRODEV. In 2003, this city was still considered a relatively, underdeveloped region although it had a population of more than 3 million. For this reason, Guiyang had great potential as a pilot city for the exploration of sustainable development models (UNEP, 2006). In 2005, PRODEV supported Guiyang’s policy frameworks, financial systems that were intended to help the private sector development, facilitated technology transfers and sustained infrastructural development. PRODEV specified the best environmentally sound practices as it demonstrated the use of cleaner production processes (UNEP, 2006). Guiyang’s businesses have learned how to increase their operational efficiencies through better use of resources. These developments have also brought significant cost savings, and improvements in the firms’ bottom line. At the time, China needed a new sustainable development model which had the ability to ‘achieve improvements in resource productivity and eco-efficiency’ (Yuan, Bi, and Moriguichi, 2006:7). The country’s central development goal came into force in January 2009 as environmental conditions were expected to deteriorate due to rapid urban and industrial growth prospects.

In a similar vein, the European Union (EU) Commission has encouraged businesses to reuse, recycle and reduce resources to prevent the loss of valuable materials (EU, 2014). The EU Commission explained that, “new business models, eco-designs and industrial symbiosis can move the community towards zero-waste; reduce greenhouse emissions and environmental impacts” (EU, 2014:4). It transpired that the Europe has already started to prepare the ground work toward this transition. In fact, the ‘Resource Efficient Europe’ was one of the EU2020’s flagship ideas. This EU initiative involved the coordination of cross-national action plans and policies on the formulation of sustainable growth. The EU’s CE proposition was intended to bring positive environmental impacts, real cost savings, and greater profits. EU (2014) indicated that improvements in waste prevention and eco-design, the use and reuse of resources, and similar measures could translate to a net savings of € 600 billion, or 8 % of annual turnover (for EU businesses), while reducing total annual greenhouse gas emissions by 2-4%. This EU communication anticipated that the market for eco-industrial products will double between 2010 and 2020. It also posited that internationally, resource-efficiency improvements are in demand across a wide range of sectors. Lately, the EU has published a call for researchers, specifically in; (i) CIRC-01-2016: Eco-innovative approaches for the circular economy: large-scale demonstration projects, (ii) CIRC-02-2016: Water in the context of the circular economy, (iii) CIRC-03-2016: Smart specialisation for systematic eco-innovation / circular economy, (iv) CIRC-04-2016: New models and economic incentives for circular economy business and (v) CIRC-05-2016: Unlocking the potential for urban organic growth (EU, 2015b). Moreover, the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) has also unleashed a new financing avenue for future investments in infrastructure and innovation, including circular economy projects and closed loop systems.

Across the Atlantic, the US and Canada have also endorsed the circular economy perspective. The US Chamber of Commerce Foundation described the circular economy as a model that focuses on the careful management of material flows through product design, reverse logistics, business model innovation, and cross-sector collaboration. The US Foundation recognised that this regenerative model offers viable business opportunities that tackle environmental issues while stimulating economic growth and development. Similarly, Canada’s ‘Circular Economy Working Group’ (CEWG) has also encouraged the wider adoption of circular approaches as illustrated in Figure 1. This working group supports knowledge sharing on CE through a series of webinars and other avenues. They also featured numerous case studies that have presented the benefits of key circular business models.

 

                                  Figure 1. The Circular Business Model

ce                                    (Accenture, 2014 in CEWG, 2015)

Although the circular economy is a relatively new notion, there could be potential pitfalls in its policy formulation and application. Moreover, businesses and industries would probably resent being imposed any mandatory changes in their established behaviours. It is very likely that they would opt to remain in their status quo, where they are ‘locked-in’ to their traditional linear models. For the time being, many companies could not be knowledgeable about the CE perspective. The terms that are actually being used to describe both linear and circular economies are potentially misleading, as both combinations already exist, but in very different contexts.

Arguably, the long term investments for an active engagement in sustainable CE practices could possibly result in significant improvements in operational efficiencies. However, CE approaches may still be perceived as novel, risky and complex. Notwithstanding, the prices of green technologies do not necessarily reflect the real costs of resources and raw materials. Macro-environmental factors, including political, economic, social and technological issues could also impact on CE behaviours. Moreover, there may be policy makers and regulators who may not want to support the transition towards the circular economy. Of course, it would be better if governments, civil societies and the respective industries work in tandem to resolve the contentious issues relating to the increased scarce and limited resources, across the globe.

In conclusion, the CE concept has the potential to maximize the functioning of global eco-systems as it could lead to significant benefits to societal well-being. There are implications for the re-alignment of economic and management practice with well laid-out ecological and social models. Future research should begin to incorporate the latest ecological knowledge into our understanding of naturalistic economic models and systems, without silencing the social and human dimension.

References

Accenture. (2014), “Circular Advantage: Innovative Business Models and Technologies to Create value in a World without Limits to Growth”, available at: https://www.accenture.com/us-en/insight-circular-advantage-innovative-business-models-value-growth.aspx (accessed on the 12th October, 2015).

Boulding, K.E. (1966) The economics of coming spaceship earth in Jarret, H. (Ed.), Environmental Quality in a Growing Economy, Johns Hopkins Pres, Baltimore, M.D. pp. 3–14

EMF (2013), “Towards the Circular Economy. Ellen MacArthur Foundation Rethinking the Future”, available at: http://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/assets/downloads/publications/TCE_Report-2013.pdf (accessed on the 28th October, 2015).

EU (2014), “Attitudes of Europeans towards Waste Management and Resource Efficiency”, European Commission, Brussels, available at:http://ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/flash/fl_388_en.pdf (accessed on the 17th October 2015).

EU (2015b), “Research and Innovation Industry 2020 in the Circular Economy” (Call identifier: H2020-IND-CE-2016-17; Publication date: 14-10-2015), available at:
http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/portal/desktop/en/opportunities/h2020/calls/h2020-ind-ce-2016-17.html#c,topics=callIdentifier/t/H2020-IND-CE-2016-17/1/1/1&callStatus/t/Forthcoming/1/1/0&callStatus/t/Open/1/1/0&callStatus/t/Closed/1/1/0&+identifier/desc (accessed on the 5th November 2015).

Granzin, K. L. and Olsen, J. E. (1991), “Characterizing participants in activities protecting the environment: a focus on donating, recycling, and conservation behaviors”, Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, pp. 1-27.

UNEP (2006), “Circular Economy: An alternative model for economic development”, United Nations Environment Programme. Paris, France, available at:http://www.unep.org/resourceefficiency/Portals/24147/scp/nap/circular/pdf/prodev-summary.pdf (accessed on the 25th October 2015).

WEF (2014), “Circular Economy Can Generate US$ 1 Trillion Annually by 2025”, World Economic Forum, available at: http://www.weforum.org/news/circular-economy-can-generate-us-1-trillion-annually-2025 (accessed on the 27th October 2015).

Yuan, Z., Bi, J. and Moriguichi, Y. (2006), “The circular economy: A new development strategy in China”, Journal of Industrial Ecology, Vol. 10 No. 1, pp. 4-8.

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Measuring Corporate Citizenship

corpcitizenship

Several empirical studies have explored the respondents’ attitudes and perceptions on corporate social responsibilities. Very often, the measurement of corporate citizenship could have involved quantitative analyses on organisational commitment toward responsible organisational behaviours (Maignan, Ferrell and Hult, 1999; Aupperle, Carroll and Hatfield, 1985). Therefore, their survey responses could not have revealed and explained actual corporate citizenship practices. Other research could have focused on investigations of managerial perceptions of corporate citizenship rather than focusing on corporate behaviours (e.g., Basu and Palazzo, 2008; Singhapakdi, Kraft, Vitell and Rallapalli, 1995). A number of similar studies have gauged corporate citizenship by adopting Fortune’s reputation index (Fryxell and Wang, 1994; Griffin and Mahon, 1997; Stanwick and Stanwick, 1998), the KLD index (Fombrun, 1998; Griffin and Mahon, 1997) or Van Riel and Fombrun’s (2007) Reptrak. Such measures require executives to assess the extent to which their company behaves responsibly toward the environment and the community (Fryxell and Wang, 1994). Despite their wide usage in past research, the appropriateness of these indices remains doubtful. For instance, Fortune’s reputation index failed to account for the multi-dimensionality of the corporate citizenship construct and is suspected to be more significant of management quality than of corporate citizenship (Waddock and Graves, 1997). Fortune’s past index suffered from the fact that its items were not based on theoretical arguments as they did not appropriately represent the economic, legal, ethical, and discretionary dimensions of the corporate citizenship construct. Hunt, Wood and Chonko’s (1989) investigated broad based perceptions on (a) the extent to which employees perceive that managers are acting ethically in their organisations (b) the extent to which employees perceive that their managers are concerned about the issues of ethics in their organisations and (c) the extent to which employees perceive that ethical (or unethical) behaviour is rewarded (or punished) in their organisation. Other authors, including Webb, Mohr and Harris (2008) also explored the philanthropic values that were related socially responsible consumption.

Pinkston and Carroll (1994) identified four dimensions of corporate citizenship, including; orientations, stakeholders, issues, and decision-making autonomy. They argued that by observing orientations, one may better understand the inclinations or posturing behaviours of organisations with respect to corporate citizenship. The stakeholder dimension should better define to whom the organisation feels responsible as it could identify where the corporate citizenship issues or social concerns are originating. The aspect of decision-making autonomy was believed to illuminate the perceived importance of corporate citizenship as one that determines at what organisational level corporate citizenship decisions are actually made. In a similar vein, Griffin and Mahon (1997) combined four estimates of corporate citizenship: the Fortune reputation index, the KLD index, the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI), and the rankings provided in the Directory of Corporate Philanthropy. They admitted that their four measures do not necessarily track one another. Such findings suggest that these indicators may not be representative of the same underlying construct and their items may not be sufficient to provide an overall understanding of corporate citizenship.

Singh, De los Salmones Sanchez and Rodriguez del Bosque (2007) adopted a multi- dimensional perspective on three domains, including; commercial responsibility, ethical responsibility and social responsibility. Firstly, they proposed that commercial responsibility of businesses relates to their continuous development of high quality products and truthful marketing communications of their products’ attributes and features among customers. Secondly, they maintained that ethical responsibility is concerned with businesses fulfilling their obligations toward their shareholders, suppliers, distributors and other agents with whom they make their dealings. Singh et al. (2007) argued that ethical responsibility involves the respect for the human rights and norms that are defined in the law when carrying out business activities. They hinted that respecting ethical principles in business relationships has more priority over achieving superior economic performance. Their other domain, the social responsibility is concerned about laudable behaviours. The authors suggest that businesses could allocate part of their budget to the natural environment, philanthropy, or toward social works that favoured the most vulnerable in society. This perspective supports the development of financing social and/or cultural activities and is also concerned with improving societal well-being.

 

References

Aupperle, K. E., Carroll, A. B., & Hatfield, J. D. (1985). An empirical examination of the relationship between corporate social responsibility and profitability. Academy of Management Journal, 28(2), 446-463.

Basu, K., & Palazzo, G. (2008). Corporate social responsibility: A process model of sensemaking. Academy of Management Review, 33(1), 122-136.

Fombrun, C. J. (1998). Indices of corporate reputation: An analysis of media rankings and social monitors’ ratings. Corporate reputation review, 1(4), 327-340.

Fryxell, G. E., & Wang, J. (1994). The fortune corporate ‘reputation’ index: Reputation for what?. Journal of management, 20(1), 1-14.

Griffin, J. J., & Mahon, J. F. (1997). The corporate social performance and corporate financial performance debate twenty-five years of incomparable research. Business & Society, 36(1), 5-31.

Hunt, S. D., Wood, V. R., & Chonko, L. B. (1989). Corporate ethical values and organizational commitment in marketing. The Journal of Marketing, 79-90.

Maignan, I., Ferrell, O. C., & Hult, G. T. M. (1999). Corporate citizenship: cultural antecedents and business benefits. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 27(4), 455-469.

Pinkston, T. S., & Carroll, A. B. (1994). Corporate citizenship perspectives and foreign direct investment in the US. Journal of Business Ethics, 13(3), 157-169.

Singh, J., & Del Bosque, I. R. (2008). Understanding corporate social responsibility and product perceptions in consumer markets: A cross-cultural evaluation. Journal of Business Ethics, 80(3), 597-611.

Singhapakdi, A., Kraft, K. L., Vitell, S. J., & Rallapalli, K. C. (1995). The perceived importance of ethics and social responsibility on organizational effectiveness: A survey of marketers. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 23(1), 49-56.

Stanwick, P. A., & Stanwick, S. D. (1998). The relationship between corporate social performance, and organizational size, financial performance, and environmental performance: An empirical examination. Journal of Business Ethics, 17(2), 195-204.

Van Riel, C. B., & Fombrun, C. J. (2007). Essentials of corporate communication: Implementing practices for effective reputation management. Routledge.

Waddock, S. A., & Graves, S. B. (1997). The corporate social performance-financial performance link. Strategic management journal, 18(4), 303-319.

Webb, D. J., Mohr, L. A., & Harris, K. E. (2008). A re-examination of socially responsible consumption and its measurement. Journal of Business Research, 61(2), 91-98.

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