It has been widely contended that corporate social responsibility (CSR) is an ambiguous concept that fails to strike the right balance between corporate economic interests and social demands. The present article argues that energy efficient principles can be used as a CSR tool to fulfill the sustainable development goals in the UN’s agenda 2030, so responding to the demands of a range of stakeholders while strengthening profitability. To advance the argument that energy efficiency principles can help to operationalize CSR, an extensive literature analysis was conducted to assess the state of the art in relation to CSR and energy efficiency. The findings confirm the effectiveness of energy efficiency initiatives in responding to the social demands of The Sustainable Development Goals, specifically goal 7, while increasing profitability and/or saving cost. The paper also highlights how energy efficiency can be reported quantitatively in environmental and economic terms beyond narrative reports, so addressing an implied critique of CSR initiatives. The paper concludes that energy efficiency initiatives create competitive advantages informed by the highest ethical principles, with benefits for corporations and society.
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© 2019, Springer Nature B.V.
- Energy efficiency
- SDG 2030, Corporate sustainability