Systemic Value, Risk and Resilience

Redefining Corporate Sustainability


Lye & Crowther


This paper began as an informal collaboration between Geoff Lye and Yasmin Crowther in the summer of 2013. Having worked together in different capacities for over ten years, both draw on decades of experience in corporate responsibility and sustainability.

From the Foreword:

“We started developing our thinking because we were frustrated by prevailing conversations about the role of the market in delivering sustainable solutions, and also the growing adoption of ‘shared value’ as a concept that corporates were embracing as the answer to profound sustainability challenges – when so often the results seemed far from adequate.

We hoped to write a paper that made sense of our frustration and to examine how progress may have been distracted by certain concepts that – to our minds – failed to deliver substantive results. We also wanted to propose a framework that might help companies contextualise their operations and performance more effectively within the complex web of systems – social, environmental, economic – upon which their business models depend. This paper is the result of our collaboration.

We were delighted to receive informal and positive feedback on our thinking from the Harvard Business Review and others. Feedback has helped us recognise a host of ideas for future development.”

Feedback is welcome to and