Article | Harvard Business Review | May 2013

The Performance Frontier: Innovating for a Sustainable Strategy

by Robert G. Eccles and George Serafeim


By now most companies have sustainability programs. They're cutting carbon emissions, reducing waste, and otherwise enhancing operational efficiency. But a mishmash of sustainability tactics does not add up to a sustainable strategy. To endure, a strategy must address the interests of all stakeholders: investors, employees, customers, governments, NGOs, and society at large. To do that, it has to increase shareholder value while at the same time improving the firm's performance on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) dimensions. This article outlines a process that can be used to execute a sustainable strategy and extend the boundaries of The Performance Frontier.

Keywords: sustainability; innovation; environment; governance; corporate reporting; corporate social responsibility; Governance; Strategy; Value; Corporate Social Responsibility and Impact; Performance; Environmental Sustainability; Innovation and Invention;


Eccles, Robert G., and George Serafeim. "The Performance Frontier: Innovating for a Sustainable Strategy." Harvard Business Review 91, no. 5 (May 2013): 50–60.