The Sustainable Firm: from Principles to Practice

Andrea Stocchetti


This article whishes to contribute at filling the gap between the theoretical perspective on business
sustainability and the actual need for procedures of preliminary evaluation and control for sustainability
performances. A framework for the implementation of a sustainability-oriented approach in firm’s
management is proposed. The framework assigns a crucial role to the involvement of middle management
and to the definition of a control system that emphasizes interdependencies between firm’s processes. A
specific attention is dedicated to the complexity triggered by relationships with external and internal
stakeholders. The impact of identifiedinitiativesis assessed with an importance-performance criterion that
weight the effects of planned actions with the importance assigned by the process leader (or process owner)
to each specific issue. Finally, the feasibility of the various actions is investigated on the basis of a
combination of the financial and organizational effort required, together with the potential impact on
overall firm’s sustainability assessed in the previous stage.

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