Frank Figge

Frank Figge
ESCP Business School · Sustainability

Professor

About

106
Publications
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7,116
Citations

Publications

Publications (106)
Article
Full-text available
The efficient use of natural resources is considered a necessary condition for their sustainable use. Extending the lifetime of products and using resources circularly are two popular strategies to increase the efficiency of resource use. Both strategies are usually assumed to contribute to the eco-efficiency of resource use independently. We argue...
Article
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By using resources more efficiently, resource users help to overcome the inherent resource scarcity on "spaceship earth." One strategy in this context is to close resource loops and to use resources circularly. With fewer resources wasted, a more circular use of resources should also increase the efficiency of resource use and create more value. Ho...
Article
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Despite considerable interest into circular economy, it remains undertheorized and underdeveloped. In response, this article advances circular economy by drawing on two theories to explain how firms can increase the circularity of resource use and why they are incentivized to do so. We refer to Modern Portfolio Theory to link the resource use of in...
Article
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By using resources more circularly, individual resources users hope to contribute to a more eco-efficient and sustainable resource use. Whether resources are used sustainably is decided at the macro-level, raising the question if, as well as how, the efficient and circular use of resources at the micro-level adds up to their efficient and circular...
Article
The sustainability challenges society faces call for firms to manage their use of natural resources wisely. Prior work on firm responses to sustainability challenges has largely focused on explaining and enhancing economic rather than environmental performance. We build on recent developments to extend resource dependence theory to include natural...
Chapter
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This chapter takes stock of recent empirical work on paradoxical tensions in business sustainability. It investigates how people perceive of such tensions, what responses they envisage, and how they manage them. More specifically, this chapter reviews empirical papers that focus on the identification of paradoxical tensions; response strategies to...
Article
A more efficient use of natural resources is considered a necessary condition for their sustainable use. When firms use resources circularly they aim to contribute to using resources more eco-efficiently, and thus in a more sustainable way than when adopting more linear systems. Eco-efficiency in linear systems can be determined by aggregating each...
Article
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It is known that an eco-efficiency strategy, which saves resources in the production process, may be offset by a rebound effect; it may even backfire. Less known are the exact conditions under which eco-efficiency rebounds or backfires. This article fills the gap by providing an analytical model of the rebound and backfire effects. We propose an op...
Conference Paper
Many firms are confronted with paradoxical tensions. For firms to recognize tensions these have to become salient. Prior research suggests that environmental and cognitive factors render latent tensions salient and argues implicitly that where environmental factors are complex, paradoxical cognition is required. In this paper we present the general...
Article
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Sustainable development requires coopetition, that is, the cooperation of organizations that compete at the same time. Research on coopetition for sustainability is sparse. From a sustainability perspective, coopetition contributes to sustainability when it makes a positive contribution on the societal level. Existing research on coopetition howeve...
Article
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Companies producing and marketing processed high-fat-high-sugar food and drinks face a strategic tension between their core business and the social issue of obesity. For these companies, the social issue of obesity constitutes a strategic social-business tension. We conduct a qualitative study of the print media coverage on the public debate around...
Article
The circular economy has emerged as an important approach in addressing how society can use its resources more efficiently. Theoretical advancements in the circular economy have yielded benefits for both practice and policymaking. However, if the eco-efficiency of resource use is to be improved, then certain challenges that face the circular econom...
Article
As a central reference point for policy makers, the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) re-cognises the value of place-based studies. Yet, tenets of generalisation and replicability dominate the organisation , and influence policy development globally. There is a growing concern that these are not conducive to building effective polic...
Article
Natural resources are limited. The circular economy is one of several different concepts that has been useful in the quest to understand how resources can be used most efficiently. It proposes that closing loops and repeatedly using resources has the potential to procure maximum eco-efficiency. To track society's progress towards a circular economy...
Article
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In a recent review article published in this journal, Hansen and Schaltegger discuss the architecture of sustainability balanced scorecards (SBSC). They link the architecture of SBSCs to the maturity of the value system of a firm as well as to the proactiveness of a firm’s sustainability strategy. We contend that this argument is flawed and that th...
Article
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The last decade has witnessed the emergence of a paradox perspective on corporate sustainability. By explicitly acknowledging tensions between different desirable, yet interdependent and conflicting sustainability objectives, a paradox perspective enables decision-makers to achieve competing sustainability objectives simultaneously and creates leew...
Article
Sustainability has moved from fringe topic to headline news and key policy discourse in its own right. Yet, the sustainability discourse remains fragmented, with a diverse set of challenges receiving vastly different levels of attention. Nevertheless, the vast majority of previous studies have focused on media attention to climate change, whereas o...
Article
Eco-efficiency is often considered an adequate response to the problem of the scarcity of non-renewable resources. Even if a more eco-efficient use of natural resources cannot guarantee lower resource consumption, it can allow a better combination of desirable economic activity with undesirable resource use. However, more eco-efficient use of resou...
Article
We present an international comparison of broadsheet newspaper coverage of climate change. We employ two complementary theoretical lenses, multiple streams theory and institutional theory, to explore why climate change has become headline news in some countries but has received comparatively little coverage in others. The study utilises a worldwide...
Article
This paper empirically assesses the relevance of information on corporate climate change disclosure and performance to asset prices, and discusses whether this information is priced appropriately. Findings indicate that corporate disclosures of quantitative GHG emissions and, to a lesser extent, carbon performance are value relevant. We use hand-co...
Article
In strategy research, there is a consensus that strategy making resides on a continuum from planned to emergent where most strategies are made in a mixed way. Different contingency factors have been suggested to explain the factors that influence strategy making. Sustainability research seems to overlook most of this development and assumes instead...
Article
The literature on corporate social performance (CSP) advocates that firms address social issues based on instrumental as well as moral rationales. While both rationales trigger initiatives to increase CSP, these rest on fundamentally different and contradicting foundations. Building on the literature on organizational ambidexterity and paradox in m...
Article
There are many different assessment techniques and indicators to determine environmental performance. Each technique is based on a specific rationale. Almost all existing assessments techniques evaluate resource use based on their burden relative to value. This conflicts with the view of the Circular Economy which suggests that economic, social and...
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to seek to shed light on the practice of incomplete corporate disclosure of quantitative Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and investigates whether external stakeholder pressure influences the existence, and separately, the completeness of voluntary GHG emissions disclosures by 431 European companies. Design/met...
Article
The Baltic region comprises countries of great diversity. They have in common that they all face the challenge to combine a sound economic development with the stewardship for their environmental, social and economic resources. Using the Sustainable Value approach we first analyse their overall sustainability performance. We then further develop th...
Chapter
The increasing professionalization of corporate social responsibility (CSR) has led to a more strategic approach and a more centralized mode of CSR-related decision-making. However, we argue that these developments limit the ability of multinational companies (MNCs) to respond to the needs of less salient stakeholders, particularly of local stakeho...
Article
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Over the last two decades, corporate sustainability has been established as a legitimate research topic among management and organization scholars. This introductory article explores potential avenues for advances in research on corporate sustainability by readdressing some of the fundamental aspects of the sustainability debate and approaching som...
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore the evolution of greenhouse gas (GHG) reporting quality and to determine whether the evolution of reporting quality is linked with the type of information reported based on the “search”, “experience”, and “credence” typology. Design/methodology/approach – The method is based on the content analysis...
Article
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This paper proposes a systematic framework for the analysis of tensions in corporate sustainability. The framework is based on the emerging integrative view on corporate sustainability, which stresses the need for a simultaneous integration of economic, environmental and social dimensions without, a priori, emphasising one over any other. The integ...
Article
Most approaches to environmental strategy follow an instrumental logic and emphasize financial over environmental performance. The natural-resource-based view is based on environmental capabilities that explain superior financial performance but it does not identify which organizational capabilities explain superior environmental performance. We ex...
Article
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Corporate sustainability confronts managers with complex issues and tensions between economic, environmental and social aspects. Drawing on the literature on managerial cognition, corporate sustainability, and strategic paradoxes, we develop a cognitive framing perspective on corporate sustainability. We propose two cognitive frames – a business ca...
Article
In today's economies those who sustain the burden of resource use, those using resources and those providing resources are not necessarily identical. With this separation come three fundamental but interrelated decision-making perspectives on the sustainability assessment of resource use. These three perspectives correspond to the three assessment...
Article
This paper examines the question of whether corporate sustainability reports can serve as accurate and fair representations of corporate sustainability performance. It presents the results of a sentiment analysis of CEO statements in corporate sustainability reports and corporate financial reports between 2001 and 2010. Making an analogy with corpo...
Article
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Purpose – This paper aims to argue that the on-going professionalization and dissemination of the current wave of corporate social responsibility (CSR) concepts and instruments leads to a headquartering effect, i.e. the concentration of CSR-related decision-making within corporate headquarters. This headquartering effect casts doubt on earlier stud...
Article
A frequent criticism of eco-efficiency strategies is that an increase in efficiency can be offset by the rebound effect. Sufficiency is discussed as a new strategy involving self-imposed restriction of consumption but can also be subject to the rebound effect. We show that the range of possible secondary effects of efficiency and sufficiency strate...
Chapter
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An ever increasing body of literature is focusing on the role of the fiduciary duty principle in socially responsible investment (SRI). Typically, this body of literature emphasizes the relationship between non-financial considerations of fund managers and financial return. Generally speaking, trustees are to manage their funds in ways that best re...
Article
Eco-efficiency is oftentimes considered the gold standard for managerial decision making in an environmental context because it seemingly reconciles the efficient use of capital and the efficient use of environmental resources. We challenge this view by disaggregating eco-efficiency to provide an in-depth analysis of corporate eco-efficiency and to...
Article
Corporate sustainability reporting quality has been frequently criticised as being unbalanced, presenting an overly positive view or failing to address material issues. The purpose of this article is to provide a fresh explanation for poor quality sustainability reporting and to propose how quality issues may be addressed. The theoretical framework...
Article
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With this paper we discuss the differences between sustainability-related media agendas across different countries and regions. Utilising a sample of 115 leading national newspapers covering forty-one countries, we show that typically no homogeneous global trends exist with regard to sustainability-related media agendas. Instead, significant differ...
Article
Net present sustainable value is introduced here as a new strategic tool for managerial decision-making in the context of sustainable investment appraisal.
Article
The aim of this paper is to specify the strengths and limitations of 'transnational' or 'glocal' CSR strategy formulation of multinational companies (MNCs). Bartlett & Ghoshal's typology of international business strategies has become a popular focal point for research into MNCs' strategic approaches to international CSR. Previous studies suggest t...
Article
In this study, we shed light on the practice of disclosure of quantitative Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by companies in Europe. We develop a classification of reporting completeness based on three dominant voluntary reporting guidelines. We find that from 2005 through 2009 only 15 percent of companies that disclose GHG emissions report them in a...
Article
Businesses are more and more confronted with demands to play an active role to reduce environmental burdens effectively and to help to achieve environmental sustainability. We question the suitability of the green business case and argue that corporate environmental strategies need to aim at the creation of environmental value alongside economic va...
Article
Die Nachhaltigkeitsberichterstattung von Unternehmen hat sich in den letzten Jahren stetig weiterentwickelt. Leider gilt dieser positive Trend nicht für alle Bereiche der Berichterstattung. Bei der Darstellung von Umweltdaten weisen die Berichte der Unternehmen zum Teil gravierende Mängel auf.
Article
This case focuses on the social dimension of a large-scale plantation project of Ford Motors Company in Brazil. With its Fordlândia plantation, Henry Ford aimed to trigger an industrial revolution in the Amazon basin just like he had done in the United States two decades earlier. However, upon arrival, the company encountered unforeseen challenges...
Article
This case focuses on the assessment of trade-offs between different environmental features of investments. Using the example of a VOC-reduction investment at a car maker, the case applies an innovative approach for the assessment of environmental investment projects. Since it is unusual that all environmental performance characteristics of investme...
Article
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We argue that the majority of the current approaches in research on corporate sustainability are inconsistent with the notion of sustainable development. By defining the notion of instrumentality in the context of corporate sustainability through three conceptual principles we show that current approaches are rooted in a bounded notion of instrumen...
Article
In this paper, we propose the return-to-cost-ratio (RCR) as an alternative approach to the analysis of operational eco-efficiency of companies based on the notion of opportunity costs. RCR helps to overcome two fundamental deficits of existing approaches to eco-efficiency. (1) It translates eco-efficiency into managerial terms by applying the well-...
Article
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Der Sustainable Value zeigt, welchen Beitrag Unternehmen zur nachhaltigen Entwicklung leisten, indem sie ein Ressourcenbündel mehr oder weniger effizient nutzen als ein Referenzwert. Die Methode verbindet die Opportunitätskostenlogik mit einem breiten Ressourcenkonzept und ist mit dem Konzept der starken Nachhaltigkeit vereinbar.
Article
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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to present an analysis of media representation of business ethics within 62 international newspapers to explore the longitudinal and contextual evolution of business ethics and associated terminology. Levels of coverage and contextual analysis of the content of the articles are used as surrogate measures of th...
Article
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The mainstream of the literature on corporate sustainability follows the win–win paradigm, according to which economic, environmental and social sustainability aspects can be achieved simultaneously; indeed, corporate sustainability has often been defined by the intersection of these three areas. However, given the multi-faceted and complex nature...
Article
In their article in this issue of Ecological Economics, Kuosmanen and Kuosmanen [Kuosmanen, T. and Kuosmanen, N., this issue. How Not to Measure Sustainable Value (and How One Might). Ecological Economics.] aim to criticise the measurement of Sustainable Value as proposed in our previous research. By adopting a production perspective and based on a...
Article
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This paper presents an overview of the results of a longitudinal analysis of the coverage of sustainability-related concepts in 115 leading national newspapers worldwide between January 1990 and July 2008covering approximately 20,500,000 articles in 340,000 newspaper issues in 39 countries. On a global level, sustainable development and corporate s...
Chapter
PART I: EXPLORING POSSIBILITIES FOR CHANGE Introduction: Exploring New Frameworks, Practices, and Initiatives for a Sustainable World J.A.F.Stoner & C.Wankel "SOAR" from the Mediocrity of Status Quo to the Heights of Sustainable Development J.M.Stavros & J.R.Sprangel, Jr. PART II: INNOVATIONS IN FINANCIAL THINKING AND ACTION - BEYOND THE PRIMACY OF...
Article
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The increased demand for sustainable investments has resulted in an increased interest in sustainable investment analysis. Existing sustainable investment analysis assesses environmental and social performance in isolation and/or subordinates environmental and social performance under economic performance. Neither is in-line with the demands of sus...
Article
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Sustainable Value is a method to measure the contribution of an economic entity, such as a farm or the entire agricultural sector, towards the sustainability (sustainable development) of a region, a country or on a global scale. A positive sustainable value is created once resources are used more efficiently than by a benchmark. It shows the excess...
Article
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In diesem Beitrag stellen wir die Ergebnisse einer wertorientierten Analyse der CO2-Performance von 28 deutschen Unternehmen mit dem Sustainable-Value-Ansatz vor. Da die Analyse auf der Opportunitätskostenlogik basiert, kann mit dem Ansatz die Klimaperformance von Unternehmen analog zur Finanzleistung bewertet werden. Dies erlaubt eine Integration...
Chapter
It is often argued that sustainability and shareholder value are not in conflict with each other but that the goal of sustainable development is in line with the goal of maximizing shareholder value. Using our sustainable value approach we show that corporate sustainability performance can be measured in monetary terms, that sustainability and shar...
Article
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In this paper, we present empirical results of a study on the creation of Sustainable Value among European manufacturing companies. As sustainable development is a future oriented concept we assess the use of environmental resources in companies in the light of the EU15 performance targets for 2010. By using the Sustainable Value approach and based...
Article
We develop and apply a valuation methodology to calculate the cost of sustainability capital, and, eventually, sustainable value creation of companies. Sustainable development posits that decisions must take into account all forms of capital rather than just economic capital. We develop a methodology that allows calculation of the costs that are as...
Article
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Modern society depends on complex agro-ecological and trading systems to provide food for urban residents, yet there are few tools available to assess whether these systems are vulnerable to future disturbances. We propose a preliminary framework to assess the vulnerability of food systems to future shocks based on landscape ecology's ‘Panarchy Fra...
Article
The capital approach is frequently used to model sustainability. A development is deemed to be sustainable when capital is not reduced. There are different definitions of sustainability, based on whether or not they allow that different forms of capital may be substituted for each other. A development that allows for the substitution of different f...
Article
Whether and how environmental management can create enterprise value is intensively debated. There are a number of concepts that aim to link environmental management and enterprise value. These concepts are usually based on net present value approaches such as Rappaport's (1986) shareholder value model. What is usually overlooked is that environmen...
Article
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Environmental Impact Assessment has gained a prominent position as a tool to evaluate the environmental effects of economic activities. However, all approaches proposed so far use a burden-oriented logic. They concentrate on the different environmental impacts in order to ascertain the overall environmental damage caused by economic activity. This...
Article
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Dass Stakeholder zum Unternehmensrisiko beitragen können, ist heute weitgehend unbestritten. Höhe und Art des Unternehmensrisikos haben einen Einfluss auf den Unternehmenswert. Der Beitrag von Stakeholdern zum Unternehmensrisiko hat daher auch einen Einfluss auf den Unternehmenswert. Gelingt es, den Beitrag der Stakeholder zum Unternehmensrisiko zu...
Article
Genes, species and ecosystems are often considered to be assets. The need to ensure a sufficient diversity of this asset is being increasingly recognised today. Asset managers in banks and insurance companies face a similar challenge. They are asked to manage the assets of their investors by constructing efficient portfolios. They deliberately make...
Article
This paper proposes a new approach to measure corporate contributions to sustainability called Sustainable Value Added. Value is created whenever benefits exceed costs. Current approaches to measure corporate sustainable performance take into account external costs caused by environmental and social damage or focus on the ratio between value creati...
Article
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In diesem Artikel stellen wir den Sustainable Value Added, einen neuen Ansatz zur Bewertung des Nachhaltigkeitsbeitrags von Unternehmen, vor. Bestehende Verfahren zur Messung der Nachhaltigkeit basieren auf einer vergleichenden Bewertung ökologischer und sozialer Belastungen und können daher als belastungsorientierte Verfahren aufgefasst werden. Un...
Article
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Loss of biodiversity is regarded as one of the key problems affecting the environment. In order to demonstrate the significance of biodiversity, the value of individual species or ecosystems today is generally determined in science and practice. The underlying thought is that a species or ecosystem is worthy of being conserved provided its value ex...
Article
Der Verlust an Biodiversität gilt als eines der zentralen Umweltprobleme. Um die Bedeutung der Biodiversität aufzuzeigen, wird heute in Wissenschaft und Praxis meist der Wert einzelner Arten oder Ökosysteme bestimmt. Die zugrundeliegende Überlegung ist, dass eine Art oder ein Ökosystem erhaltenswert sei, solange ihr Wert über dem Nutzen ihres Verlu...
Article
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Partner leasing is a form of financial leasing which is driven primarily by tax considerations. We discuss how partner leasing flourished in Sweden as a financial innovation in response to particular tax rules around 1983, and how the authorities attempted to eliminate it. Specific reference is made to the Tj�dern case, an authentic and sophisticat...
Article
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Die Studie zeigt, was unter Stakeholder Value verstanden werden kann, wie Shareholder Value und Stakeholder Value gemessen werden k�nnen und welche Verbindung zwischen beiden Konzepten besteht. In dieser Studie wird erstmals die Wertbeitragsanalyse von Stakeholderbeziehungen vorgestellt. Anhand der Stakeholder Value Matrix l�sst sich zeigen, welche...