Why Sustainability is Now Vital to the Success of Business

This was a first year Business Administration academic essay on sustainability. Feel free to cite me but please don’t plagiarise.


Discuss and analyse the importance of sustainability in business, using case study examples to illustrate and support your arguments.

“There is one and only one social responsibility of business–to use it resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits so long as it stays within the rules of the game, which is to say, engages in open and free competition without deception or fraud.” (Friedman, 1970)

This essay will briefly look at the history of sustainability, it shall outline sustainability’s relationship to corporate social responsibility, and some of the benefits to a firm of being socially responsible, in addition it will consider and analyse three prominent views that express the importance of sustainability in business: Carroll’s four-part model of CSR, Milton Friedman’s shareholder view and Edward Freeman’s stakeholder theory, whilst relating these views to case studies.

In order to comprehend the concept of sustainability in relation to a business, one must understand the management concept; corporate social responsibility, abbreviated to CSR. Sustainability is almost synonymous with CSR, though specifically, it places a focus on the future of the business (Salt Communications, 2012). The whole concept is about being responsible for more than the business is legally obliged to, either propelled by the intention of increasing the performance of the business or because of a profound moral duty felt by decision-makers in the company. The concept exists because businesses do not operate on their own, their operations will affect their many stakeholders; Continue reading