A3 Book section, chapters in research books

From Environmental Management to Truly Sustainable Business: Adoption of Responsible Practices by Finnish Industries

Publication Details
Authors: Mikkilä Mirja, Koistinen Katariina, Kuokkanen Anna, Linnanen Lassi
Editors of book: Idowu, Samuel O.
Publication year: 2020
Language: English
Title of parent publication: Global Practices of Corporate Social Responsibility
JUFO-Level of this publication: 2
Open Access: Not an Open Access publication


The desire for sustainable development (SD) and its implementation
within business has emerged during the past decades calling for more effective
production in response to human needs in the social, economic and environmental
dimensions. Institutionalization of environmental management practices was the
first phase of business responsibilities. The concept of corporate social
responsibilities took place in the second phase of the responsible business
debate. The ongoing third phase is turning the organizational inside-out
perspective to an outside-in approach (i.e. the business contributes products
and services to resolve pressing sustainability issues in its society).

Using the institutional organization theory as a background for the
conceptual framework based on environmental management, value creation through
corporate responsibility and truly sustainable business models, this paper analyzes
the development of corporate responsibility reporting in three Finnish
large-scale companies representing the energy, grocery, and pulp and paper sectors.
Evidence for the development of business strategies from environmental
management towards truly sustainable business were looked at through
qualitative analysis.

Finnish large-scale companies have been the forerunners in the adoption
of global responsibility and reporting practices. The content of the studied
report was developed most intensively from the late 1990s until the mid-2000s. The
content analysis demonstrated the adoption of well institutionalized managerial
concepts, namely environmental management and corporate responsibility. The
reports shared little evidence of the adoption of truly sustainable approaches.
However, the homepages of all three companies indicate large potential for this
kind of positive impact.

Globally acceptable reporting frameworks provide a large set of
sustainability criteria that could provide new perspectives to evaluate the
sustainability of operations. This standardized reporting seldomly leads to a
wider consideration of the potential for value creation and the larger
sustainability impacts of operations, since companies (commonly) apply the
parts of the larger framework that are relevant to daily business.

Last updated on 2021-15-01 at 08:10