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The Shell Center for Sustainability's mission is to foster an interdisciplinary program of research, outreach, and education to address actions that can be taken to ensure the sustainable development of communities' living standards, interpreted broadly, to encompass all factors affecting the overall quality of life.



Integrating Impact into Decision Making


Marc Epstein, Ph.D., Jones Graduate School of Business, Rice University 

 Marc Epstein 
Dr. Marc Epstein 
 McNair Hall 
McNair Hall 

Project Background 

This project concentrates on the need of companies to integrate social and environmental impacts into management decisionmaking. The measurement and reporting of these impacts are key to corporate accountability. The project will develop the tools and techniques to evaluate effects of company products, processes and activities on both the company and society and will provide for a more complete analysis of all capital and operational investments. By ignoring future social and environmental impacts, company capital resource allocation decisions are flawed. The project will also examine company operational and capital investment decisions and the impact of these investments on financial performance through both earning and share price.

Project Update 

The project has been completed and a series of work based on the topic has been published. Dr. Epstein will also be releasing a new book in January 2008 with the title Making Sustainability Work: Best Practices in Managing and Measuring Corporate Social, Environmental, and Economic Impacts.

(a) Identification and Use of Sustainability Performance Measures in Decision-Making, Marc J. Epstein & Sally K. Widener, Journal of Corporate Citizenship, February 2011, Vol. 40: 43-58. 

(b) Facilitating Sustainable Development Decisions: Measuring Stakeholder Reactions, Marc J. Epstein & Sally K. Widener, Business Strategy and the Environment, February 2011, Vol. 20: 107-123. 

For More Information:

Making Sustainability Work: Best Practices in Managing and Measuring Corporate Social, Environmental and Economic Impacts, 2008, Greenleaf Publishing and Berrett-Koehler Publishers.

Implementing Corporate Sustainability: Measuring and Managing Social and Environmental Impacts, Strategic Finance, January 2008.

Measuring and Managing Social and Political Risk (with Tamara Bekefi), Strategic Finance, February 2008.

Transforming Social and Environmental Risks into Opportunities (with Tamara Bekefi), Strategic Finance, March 2008.

Get Paid to Do Good: The Role of Performance Evaluations and Reward Systems, BSR Weekly, March 25, 2008.

Making Sustainability Work: Managing and Measuring Impacts, BSR Weekly, February 2008.

Implementing a Corporate Environmental Strategy: Establishing Coordination and Control within Multinational Companies (with MJ Roy), Business, Strategy, and the Environment, September 2007.

Integrating Social and Political Risk Into Management Decision - Making (with Tamara Bekefi) Society of Management Accountants of Canada and American Institute of Certified Public Accountants 2006.

Epstein, Marc J., R. Bagozzi, P.S. Wisner. 2006. "Organizational Antecedents and Consequences of Environmental Performance." Advances in Environmental Accounting and Management

Epstein, Marc J., P. Wisner. 2005. ""Push" and "Pull" Impacts of NAFTA on Environmental Responsiveness and Performance in Mexican Industry." Management International Review

Epstein, Marc J., K. Schnietz. 2005. "Exploring the Financial Value of a Reputation for Corporate Social Resonsibility During a Crisis." Corporate Reputation Review

Epstein, Marc J., P. S. Wisner. 2005. "Managing and Controlling Environmental Performance: Evidence From Mexico." Advances in Mangement Accounting

Epstein, Marc J.. 2005. "The Payoffs for Corporate Social Responsibility: A Conversation with Marc J. Epstein." Cost Management


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