Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 44, Issue 2, pp 107–119

Multiple Levels of Corporate Sustainability

  • Marcel van Marrewijk
  • Marco Werre

DOI: 10.1023/A:1023383229086

Cite this article as:
van Marrewijk, M. & Werre, M. Journal of Business Ethics (2003) 44: 107. doi:10.1023/A:1023383229086


According to Dr. Clare Graves, mankind has developed eight core value systems,1 as responses to prevailing circumstances. Given different contexts and value systems, a one-solution-fits-all concept of corporate sustainability is not reasonable. Therefore, this paper presents various definitions and forms of sustainability, each linked to specific (societal) circumstances and related value systems. A sustainability matrix– an essential element of the overall European Corporate Sustainability Framework – is described showing six types of organizations at different developmental stages, with different forms of corporate sustainability, each supported by specific institutional arrangements.

ambition levelscorporate social responsibilitycorporate sustainabilityECSFEuropean Corporate Sustainability Frameworkspiral dynamicssustainability matrixvalue systems

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marcel van Marrewijk
    • 1
  • Marco Werre
    • 2
  1. 1.Van Linden van del Heuvellsingel 7VlaardingenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.RotterdamThe Netherlands