chapter  3
40 Pages

The business case for sustainable enterprise and the state of scientific knowledge on tipping points

To what extent can good sustainability policies be shown to contribute to a company’s financial performance? To answer this question we must embark on a complicated quest for the so-called ‘business case’ for sustainability: does sustainability pay? Belief in the sustainability business case amongst business people is strong, though. In particular consultant studies periodically confirm that the majority of company directors consider sustainable enterprise essential for their company’s profitability. It is recognised that for the coming years, major strategic changes in the area of sustainability will be necessary (PwC, 2011). The vast majority of US entrepreneurs for instance believe there is a positive association between sustainability and financial performance (Economist Intelligence Unit, 2008).