Skip Navigation Links and Jump to Page Content  The Library of Congress >> Researchers
Business Reference Services (Science, Technology, and Business Division)
  Home >> Guides >> Green Business

Go green Eco and Bio labels

Corporate Social Responsibility

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) exists when companies self-regulate according to sustainable legal standards, ethical principles, and international norms. The trend towards CSR has been steadily increasing, though its extent varies among industries.

Green Business: Sources of Information

Table of Contents

General Resources
    Building & Design
Corporate Social Responsibility
   Corporate Rankings
LC Subject Headings

Image (left): Go green Eco and Bio labels with Stickers vector 03 External Link is licensed under CC BY 3.0 External Link

There are many ways and various degrees of rigor in which sustainability is measured. Systems of rating and endorsement have been established by nations, the UN, states/provinces, industries, professional associations, and environmental groups. Companies often display their ratings and awards in public relations materials to great positive effect. In fact, sometimes a business will seek to boost its public image by advertising itself as greener than it actually is. This is referred to as "green washing."

This section offers a list of print resources including books and journal articles addressing various aspects of corporate social responsibility as well as sources for corporate sustainability rankings of American and global companies. For more comprehensive information on the subject please see our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR): Resources for Research guide.

Print Resources     |    Journal Articles     |     Corporate Rankings

Print Resources

Cramer, Aron, and Zachary Karabell. Sustainable Excellence: The Future of Business in a Fast-Changing World. Emmaus, PA: Rodal, 2010.
LC Call Number: HC79.E5 C723 2010
LC Catalog Record: 2010025150

With stories of how companies are successfully transforming themselves in response to major paradigm shifts in the business landscape, this book tells the reader exactly how the world's most influential companies, including Coca-Cola and Google, are building business strategies that address the largest emerging environmental and social challenges today.

Frynas, George Jedrzej. Beyond Corporate Social Responsibility; Oil Multinationals and Social Challenges. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2009.
LC Call Number: HD60 .F79 2009
LC Catalog Record:2009281005

This publication analyzes corporate social responsibility in terms of its potentials and limitations to make societal changes. The author evaluates modern day challenges companies face primarily through examples of how the oil and gas industry plans on dealing with the mounting expectations for corporate social responsibility.

Gunningham, Neil, ed. Corporate Environmental Responsibility. The Library of Corporate Responsibilities. Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing Ltd., 2009.
LC Call Number: HD60 .C6365 2009
LC Catalog Record: 2009921714
Publisher web site External Link

"This collection of essential articles and papers maps the development of the CER concept, traces the principal debates concerning its contribution to environmental protection, assesses the evidence as to what extent corporations are seeking to 'do well be doing good' and explains why some companies have gone down this path when others, similarly situated, have been unwilling to do so. In essence, it asks: what has CER accomplished, what can it accomplish, and what is beyond its reach?" -- Publisher description.

Hay, Bruce L., Robert N. Stavins, and Richard H. K. Vietor, eds. Environmental Protection and the Social Responsibility of Firms: Perspectives from Law, Economics, and Business. Washington, DC: Resources for the Future, 2005.
LC Call Number: HD30.255 .E5873 2005
LC Catalog Record: 2004022279

This book contains a collection of publications that address four major questions on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in relation to the environment. These questions are asked from legal, economic, and business perspectives with the purpose of distinguishing what valid moral obligations businesses have in protecting the environment.

Hoffman, Andrew J. From Heresy to Dogma: An Institutional History of Corporate Environmentalism. Stanford, CA: Stanford Business Books, 2001.
LC Call Number: HD30.255 .H64 2001
LC Catalog Record: 2001049129
Publisher description

"This is a pathbreaking account of how the environmental movement has led to profound changes in the perceptions and practices of large-scale corporations, as shown here in the chemical and petroleum industries. The book traces how market, social, and political pressures drive corporations to respond to environmental issues, analyzes the cultural frames that organizations use to come to terms with these external influences, and describes the resulting changes in organizational culture and structure." Publisher description

Ledgerwood, Grant, and Arlene Idol Broadhurst. Environment, Ethics, and the Corporation. New York, NY: St. Martin's Press, Inc., 2000.
LC Call Number: HD30.255 .L428 2000
LC Catalog Record: 99049280

"This book synthesizes the perspectives of corporate environmental strategy, urban planning, international environmental diplomacy and ethics in a single, wide-ranging volume. Providing a unique analysis of the growing social and environmental responsibility within the corporate sector, this book discusses corporate innovation and entrepreneurial governmental organizations. A wide range of case studies and examples are presented which include both developed and non-developing countries." -- Publisher description.

Lim, Alwyn, and Kiyoteru Tsutsui. "Globalization and Commitment in Corporate Social Responsibility Cross-National Analyses of Institutional and Political-Economy Effects." American Sociological Review 77, no. 1 (February 2012): 69-98.
LC Call Number: HM1 .A75
LC Catalog Record: 37010449
Also available in ABI/Inform via ProQuest. (access limited to patrons onsite (accessed April 17, 2013).

This article examines the events, reasons, and patterns behind the gaining popularity of adapting global corporate social responsibility frameworks including - The United Nations Global Compact and the Global Reporting Initiative.

Newton, Lisa H. Business Ethics and the Natural Environment. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing, 2005.
LC Call Number: HD30.255 .N49 2005
LC Catalog Record: 2004024668

The author attempts to identify the appropriate relationships between businesses and the environment by providing an extensive description of business ethics using definitive terms and forms of reasoning.

Stringer, Leigh. The Green Workplace: Sustainable Strategies that Benefit the Employees, the Environment, and the Bottom Line. New York, NY: HOK, Inc., 2009.
LC Call Number: HD30.255 .S77 2009
LC Catalog Record: 2009006375

By looking at the challenges and case for sustainable business practices, this book offers various immediate short-term as well as long-term strategies businesses may use to encourage sustainability. The book also includes a section of predictions for the future of the green workplace and how leaders may prepare for these changes.

Tencati, Antonio, and Francesco Perrini, eds. Business Ethics and Corporate Sustainability. Studies in Transatlantic Business Ethics. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2011.
LC Call Number: HF5387 .B8766 2011
LC Catalog Record: 2010939276
Publisher website External Link

"This authoritative book includes cutting-edge insights from leading European and North American scholars who reflect upon business ethics’ foundations, firms, markets and stakeholders in order to design more sustainable patterns of development for business and society. Together, the contributing authors advance critical, innovative and imaginative perspectives to rethink the mainstream models and address the sustainability challenge." -- Publisher description

Utting, Peter, and Jennifer Clapp, eds. Corporate Accountability and Sustainable Development. Ecological Economics and Human Well-Being. New Delhi, India: Oxford University Press, 2008.
LC Call Number: HD60 .C6356 2008
LC Catalog Record: 2008335996

This publication argues the limitations for long-term sustainability under a general corporate social responsibility approach and proposes the corporate accountability movement, which includes regulatory obligations rather than responsibility, as a solution for sustainable development.

Top of Page Back to Top

Journal Articles

Banerjee, S. B., Iyer, E. S., and Kashyap, R. K. "Corporate Environmentalism: Antecedents and Influence of Industry Type." Journal of Marketing 67, no. 2, (April 2003): 106-122.
LC Call Number: HF5415.A2 J6
LC Catalog Record: 38024264
Also available online in ProQuest ABI/Inform
Subscription resource: Online access limited to patrons onsite (accessed April 17, 2013).

Using a political-economic framework, the authors develop a hypothesis that analyzes the variables most likely to keep companies from different environmental impact sectors and industries from becoming involved in environmental concerns.

Bansal, Pratima, and Kendall Roth. "Why Companies Go Green: A Model of Ecological Responsiveness." The Academy of Management Journal 43, no. 4 (August 2000): 717-36.
LC Call Number: HD28 .A24
LC Catalog Record: 58003817
Also available online in ProQuest ABI/Inform
Subscription resource: Online access limited to patrons onsite (accessed April 17, 2013).

This analysis of a qualitative study on the incentives and contextual variables is used to explain what motivates corporate ecological responsiveness. It evaluates the major causes and conditions leading businesses to address social, environmental issues.

Carroll, Archie B., and Kareen M. Shabana. "The Business Case for Corporate Social Responsibility: A Review of Concepts, Research and Practice." International Journal of Management Reviews 12, no. 1 (March 2010): 85-105.
LC Call Number: HD28 .I5253
LC Catalog Record: 99124449
Also available online in Business Source Complete via EBSCOhost. Subscription resource: Online access limited to patrons onsite (accessed April 17, 2013).

In addition to the historical background on the development of corporate social responsibility, the authors review some of the long-established, traditional arguments for and against businesses accommodating social initiatives for profit-seeking behaviors.

Cherrier, H., Russell, S. V., and Fielding, K. "Corporate Environmentalism and Top Management Identity Negotiation." Journal of Organizational Change Management 25 no. 4, (2012): 518-534.
LC Call Number: WMLC 95/430
LC Catalog Record: sf96091380
Also available online in ProQuest ABI/Inform
Subscription resource: Online access limited to patrons onsite (accessed April 17, 2013).

With data collected among 15 semi-structured interviews with senior executives and board members of a large Australian hospital, the authors categorize and examine the narratives of acceptance and resistance to the introduction of corporate environmentalism.

Fergus, A. H. T. and J. I. A. Rowney. "Sustainable Development: Lost Meaning and Opportunity?" Journal of Business Ethics 60, no. 1 (2005): 17-27.
LC Call Number: HF5387 .J68
LC Catalog Record: 83643888
Also available online in ProQuest ABI/Inform
Subscription resource: Online access limited to patrons onsite (accessed April 17, 2013).

This publication evaluates the underlying meaning of sustainable development in an attempt to determine its dominant ethical objective. The authors hope to clarify the philosophical context of this term to influence its scientific-economic paradigm and the current perspectives on sustainable development.

LeVeness, Frank P. and Patrick D. Primeaux. "Vicarious Ethics: Politics, Business, and Sustainable Development." Journal of Business Ethics 51, no. 2 (May 2004): 185-198.
LC Call Number: HF5387 .J68
LC Catalog Record: 83643888
Also available online in ProQuest ABI/Inform
Subscription resource: Online access limited to patrons onsite (accessed April 17, 2013).

By looking into the emergence of the sustainable development initiative, its convergences in conventional business politics, and its resulting relationships with a wide array of ethical concerns, the authors wish to provide a solution that respects individual and communal sovereignty while positing a dynamic interaction between the two.

Moon, Jeremy. "Business Social Responsibility: A Source of Social Capital?" Journal of Business Ethics 1, no. 3 (November 2001): 35-45.
LC Call Number: HF5387 .J68 LC Catalog Record: 83643888
Also available online in ProQuest ABI/Inform
Subscription resource: Online access limited to patrons onsite (accessed April 17, 2013).

This author attempts to look at the validity of Corporate Social Responsibility as a driver for gaining and sustaining social capital. Despite the widespread emphasis on business' mission to maximize profit, thus obscuring social ecologic influences, the author demonstrates the potential of capitalizing on corporate social and environmentally conscience actions.

Orlitzky, Marc, Donald S. Siegel, and David A. Waldman. "Strategic Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Sustainability." Business and Society 50, no. 1 (March 2011): 6-27.
LC Call Number: HF5001 .B7657
LC Catalog Record: 89645991
Also available online in ProQuest ABI/Inform
Subscription resource: Online access limited to patrons onsite (accessed April 17, 2013).

The authors explain three theoretical approaches for strategically addressing corporate responsibility. They provide an outline of what they predict will require future research for the advancement of strategic corporate responsibility to support environmental sustainability.

Reinhardt, Forest L., and Robert N. Stavins. "Corporate Social Responsibility, Business Strategy, and the Environment." Oxford Review of Economic Policy 26, no. 2 (2010) 164-81.
LC Call Number: HC251 .O95
LC Catalog Record: 92648878
Also available online in Academic OneFile.
Subscription resource: Online access limited to patrons onsite (accessed April 17, 2013).

By examining the business strategy behind whether it is worthwhile for companies to risk profitable activities by taking socially driven actions, the authors evaluate the potential ability of corporations to pursue socially responsible activities and the overall effects of their doing so.

Scherer, Andreas, and Guido Palazzo. "The New Political Role of Business in a Globalized World: A Review of a New Perspective on CSR and its Implications for the Firm, Governance, and Democracy." Journal of Management Studies 48, no. 4 (June 2011): 899-931.
LC Call Number: HD28 .J6
LC Catalog Record: 64009431
Also available online in Business Source Complete via EBSCOhost. Subscription resource: Online access limited to patrons onsite (accessed April 17, 2013).

Under the conditions of globalization, the authors suggest that economic and political factors have diverged, resulting in the assumption of social and political responsibilities by businesses instead of an exclusively governmental objective. The authors consider the implications of this new role of business on its firm, and on governance and democracy.

Van Marrewijk, Marcel. "Concepts and Definitions of CSR and Corporate Sustainability: Between Agency and Communion." Journal of Business Ethics 44, nos. 2-3 (May 2003): 95-105.
LC Call Number: HF5387 .J68
LC Catalog Record: 83643888
Also available online in ProQuest ABI/Inform
Subscription resource: Online access limited to patrons onsite (accessed April 17, 2013).

This paper uses historical perspective, philosophical analysis, and contemporary business environment to discuss the defining characteristics of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Corporate Sustainability (CS) in order to appropriately match these terms to the development, awareness, and ambition levels of organizations.

Top of Page Back to Top

Corporate Ratings/Rankings

Business Roundtable: Sustainability Report External Link

Business Roundtable (BRT) is an association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. companies working to promote sound public policy and a thriving U.S. economy. BRT sustainability report Create, Grow, Sustain "details how companies are pursuing innovative strategies to create jobs, grow the U.S. economy and sustain and enhance the quality of life in America and around the world." The website also provides an annual list of companies External Link that are making efforts to protect the environment, use energy more wisely and promote sustainable business practices.

CSRHub External Link

Provides community, employeee, environment, governance and overall ratings for major companies in North America, Europe and Asia based on aggregated data from multiple sources. Free registration is required to see basic data. Access to more detailed company information available with monthly subscription.

Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) External Link

The CDP is an independent not-for-profit organization holding the largest database of primary corporate climate change information in the world. Includes sustainability reports from thousands of organizations from around the world. Access to reports requires free registration.

Climate Counts External Link

The Climate Counts Company Scorecard measures corporate efforts towards stopping climate change and how they compare to their sector competitors. External Link

Free registration allows users to search for companies' social responsibility reports.

Dow Jones Sustainability Indices: Industry Group Leaders 2016 External Link

Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI) tracks the financial performance of the leading sustainability-driven companies worldwide.

Global 100: Most Sustainable Corporations in the World External Link

The Global 100 is a global sustainability equity index that uses a set of key performance indicators based on publicly available data to determine index constituents. The Global 100 compares companies against their industry group peers.

Green Power Partnership. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency - Top Partner Rankings

Top Partner Rankings highlight the annual green power use of leading Green Power Partners within the United States and across individual industry sectors. EPA's Green Power Partnership works with Fortune 500 companies, national top 50 enterprises, governments, and schools.

Greenpeace International Guide to Greener Electronics External Link

"The Greenpeace Guide to Greener Electronics evaluates leading consumer electronics companies based on their commitment and progress in three environmental criteria: Energy and Climate, Greener Products, and Sustainable Operations."

Newsweek Green Rankings 2012
U.S. 500 Rankings
Global 500 Rankings External Link

Newsweek's Green Rankings 2012 site provides environmental rankings for the biggest U.S. and global companies and includes an option to browse companies by industry.

Sustainability Disclosure Database. GRI External Link

This is a free public database of sustainability reports External Link released by companies and organizations following GRI's sustainability reporting guidance. Reports and organization metadata can be downloaded.

U.S. Green Chamber External Link

The U.S. Green Chamber is a membership organization of businesses which, according to the organization mission statment, believe that business success and shareholder value cannot be separated from sustainability, social consciousness, and environmental stewardship. Site inclues a directory listing companies and organizations that offer jobs emphasizing these values.

Last Updated: 01/04/2019

Top of Page Top of Page
  Home >> Guides >> Green Business: Sources of Information
  The Library of Congress >> Researchers
  January 4, 2019
Legal | External Link Disclaimer

Contact Us:  
Ask a Librarian