The Value of Social Sustainability The relation between social corporate sustainability performance and corporate financial performance in the Swedish mining and metal- and steel-production industries

University essay from Göteborgs universitet/Företagsekonomiska institutionen

Abstract: In this thesis, a qualitative analysis of how companies' representative of the Swedish mining, steel, and metal industries view social sustainability in terms of its ability to generate financial benefits. The results indicate that all of the analysed companies view social sustainability as value creating. While end-state metrics are attributed to environmental sustainability, the value of social sustainability can be seen in mediating metrics in the form of, for example, employee turnover or in some cases as cost-reducing intermediating metrics. We conclude that the strategic value of social sustainability can be primarily categorized into the four themes: employee attraction and retention, improved decision making, credibility to customers and the social license to operate, and as part of the entirety of corporate sustainability. We also find that the primary drivers for social sustainability performance are not driven by profit but rather the intrinsic values of the companies. Furthermore, we show that the strategic value of social sustainability, as stated by the companies, can be further motivated by their capacity for creating competitive advantage in light of the theoretical frameworks, the Resource-Based View of the firm and Stakeholder theory.

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