Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 44, Issue 2–3, pp 107–119 | Cite as

Multiple Levels of Corporate Sustainability

  • Marcel van Marrewijk
  • Marco Werre


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 levels corporate social responsibility corporate sustainability ECSF European Corporate Sustainability Framework spiral dynamics sustainability matrix value systems 


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  4. Marrewijk, M. van and J. Timmers: 2003, 'Human Capital Management', Journal of Business Ethics.Google Scholar
  5. Werre, M.: 2003, 'Implementing Corporate Responsibility-The Chiquita Case', Journal of Business Ethics.Google Scholar
  6. Wilber, K.: 1995, 2000, Sex, Ecology and Spirituality (Shambhala Publications).Google Scholar

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

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