Stein, Michael and Michele Acciaro

Value Creation through Corporate Sustainability in the Port Sector: A Structured Literature Analysis

Sustainability, 12 (14)-5504, (2020).

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Abstract: Corporate Sustainability (CS) in the port sector has emerged as an important driver behind strategy definition for port authorities globally. It has been argued that CS practices have the potential of delivering value for port users and, as such, grant port operators and port managing entities competitive advantages. There is, however, limited evidence behind this claim. The difficulty with collecting such evidence is that we lack measures of port value creation, and CS metrics have rarely been developed and applied in ports. This paper provides a framework for collecting empirical evidence aimed at assessing in what way CS can benefit port competitiveness. The framework is built on a systematic literature analysis of the past years. The literature analysis exceeds previous comparable contributions by its analytical detail and provides valuable new insights on sustainability in the maritime domain. The research indicates that the accurate measurement of CS initiatives in the port sector is urgent and meaningful. When appropriately measured, the value that CS can deliver to port users becomes apparent. This is, however, often created indirectly via branding, risk mitigation, etc. The paper contributes to academic knowledge as it is the first to develop a rigorous CS measurement framework usable for ports in terms of value.

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