Sustainable business conduct as business model or business identity : a stakeholder review of a potential trend towards a new normal

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Företagsekonomiska institutionen

Abstract:

The objective of the thesis is to analyse how stakeholder influence has transformed sustainability work from being primarily risk management into becoming an integral part of business conduct and even business identities of today. To detect this trend I gather theoretical information that elaborate on the meaning and drivers of sustainable business conduct, sustainability as corporate identity, relevant stakeholders and ways of communicating to stakeholders. A case study of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream company is conducted, as an example of a market leader on sustainable business conduct. By demonstrating the extensive sustainability work that Ben & Jerry’s do, I argue that it has had a clear bottom-up influence on the trend for sustainable business conduct. Together with recent regulatory demands as a top-down influence in markets, I argue that there is evidence of a trend where sustainable business conduct and/or sustainability as business identity is becoming the new norm. 

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