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Sustainability in Business Strategy x Ecosystems

This text presents a brief reflection on the correlation of articles: “Strategy & Society” (Porter; Kramer, 2006), “Shared Value” (Porter; Kramer, 2011), "Creating Sustainable Value" (Hart; Milstein, 2004), “The Path to Corporate Responsability” (Zadeck, 2014) e “How to Become a Sustainable Company” (Eccles; Perkins; Serafeim, 2012) and the ecosystem concepts

Strategy & Society

What is the relationship between the company and society? That is, the company's relationship with the different audiences with which it interacts, who are interested in or who feel affected by your activities.; the interested parties.

Michael Porter and Mark Kramer suggest an alternative to the capitalist concept of facing the issue: advocate a relationship between business and society in which business success and social well-being go hand in hand.

The article “Strategy & Society" presents a model to be used by companies so that they can identify the social consequences of certain decisions and strategies, map which problems to address and establish effective ways to address them, at the same time, strengthening the competitive context in which it operates.

Analyzing opportunities for sustainability in business strategy (RSE) using guidelines identical to those that guide your business decisions, the company will discover that CSR can be much more than a cost or a limitation, can be an important source of innovation and competitive advantage.

Shared Value

Porter and Kramer don't believe companies are rivals to humans, but that they are neutral and exist to meet the needs of citizens. Thus, to use organizations as efficient tools to meet social demands, they developed the idea of ​​Creating Shared Value (CVC), adopted worldwide by large corporations.

The concept of CVC can be defined as a set of management practices and business policies aimed at increasing the company's competitiveness and, simultaneously, improve social and economic conditions in the communities in which they operate..

Therefore, CVC is not just a matter of choosing sporadic and convenient attitudes of philanthropy or social action. The question, presented by Porter and Kramer, is how this will be done by companies.

Creating Sustainable Value

Designing and developing an internal culture for sustainability is essential to encourage new behaviors in the face of issues related to the relationship between company - society - nature.

Transformations in economic contexts, social and environmental strongly influence the behavior of companies and society in relation to the issue of social responsibility. Society expects responsible business action.

The text presents a way in which corporate social responsibility needs to be integrated into this process., whether through tax collection and wealth generation, the generation of new technologies with respect to the environment and society, investment in the development of its employees, of transparent communication, of corporate governance, of social actions that contribute to the surrounding communities, and the interaction with its stakeholders.


An ecosystem is a set formed by the interactions between biotic components, the living organisms (plants, animals and microbes), and the abiotic components, chemical and physical elements, like the air, the water, the soil and minerals.

Business ecosystems

In corporate jargon, Business ecosystems are defined as a network that encompasses a company and its respective suppliers., customers and other partners, in a virtuous cycle of generating and adding value. The term was popularized by the book “The Death of Competition: Leadership and Strategy in the Age of Business Ecosystems” (James Moore, 1996).

Author's Reflection

The concept of ecosystems exposed above makes it very clear that the interrelationship between living beings (animals, people, companies and society) and non-living beings (natural resources, Water, solo, climate) are closely related and any imbalance in this relationship causes the system to collapse..

Just as the global profit imperative prevails (Shareholder Theory, Milton Friedman, 1976), accepted by entrepreneurs as an inherent characteristic of the business, the texts presented are intended to justify and/or define ways to include sustainability themes and approaches in business strategy on a global scale.

There is no formula or theory that defines the path to sustainability for each business or organization, just as they don't exist for profit, because each company follows its own concepts, references, applying certain doses of innovation and creativity. The fact is, just like the global profit imperative, the global imperative of sustainability (Paulo White, 2017) it is vital for companies and entrepreneurs to avoid the collapse of planetary boundaries and their businesses.

By André Leite de Araújo, Senior Consultant in Environment and Sustainability.