Dr. Johannes Bohnen and Lutz-Peter Hennies argue in the Journal of Public Affairs why companies should design their sustainability efforts not only socially and ecologically - but above all politically. After all, corporate political responsibility pays off in the long run.
Below is the abstract of the article, "Why Brands Should Foster Political Sustainability." Click here to access the full text of the version submitted to the Journal of Public Affairs. You can access the final published version here (login or payment required).
Sustainability figures prominently in the rhetoric around the nonfinancial responsibilities of business, as is manifest in the concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR). Often, however, sustainability assumes a narrow social and ecological meaning. A more comprehensive and apt concept would instead focus on the political dimension of sustainability. The long-term success of business depends primarily on sound institutions as embodied in the liberal democratic state. Therefore, companies should invest politically in strengthening the public realm – to their own benefit. CSR misses this strategic nexus; rather, the business case lies in the adoption of a corporate political responsibility (CPR). Advocating for a broad definition of what is political, the paper lays out concrete CPR fields of action that allow companies to become political brands. As a holistic concept to conceive of the interface between business and politics, CPR does not only help to secure a company's longevity, but also reorients our understanding and practice of public affairs.