• Victor Hugo Piancó de Oliveira Universidade Federal de Sergipe, São Cristovão, Sergipe
  • Veruschka Vieira Franca Universidade Federal de Sergipe
  • João Ricardo Correia Andrade Universidade Federal de Sergipe, São Cristovão, Sergipe



Triple Bottom Line, Sustainability, Innovation, Sustainable practices, Vegan market


Economic and industrial development have enabled people to live better by developing products and services that make their lives easier. However, these processes generate impacts that have been increasingly questioned as to the forms of mitigation. Many companies already seek to analyze their processes from the perspective of the Triple Bottom Line (TBL), or Sustainability Tripod, considering the dimensions: financial, environmental and social. In this context, a market that has been developed in recent years is the one of vegan products, since its consumers have sustainable balance as one of their ideals. Innovation oriented to sustainability or sustainable innovation is related to innovations that contribute to TBL. This work aimed to analyze the sustainable innovation practices adopted by small companies of vegan products and to identify their contributions to each of the three dimensions of the TBL. Multiple case studies were carried out, the information was collected through semi-structured interviews with the managers of the organizations and subsequently, a content analysis was made for the sustainable practices adopted by the companies. It can be observed that companies adopt several innovation practices oriented to sustainability in the environmental dimension, such as reverse logistics of packaging, the use of biodegradable or reusable resources, energy and water saving policy and selection of sustainable suppliers. In the social sphere, health and safety practices at work, use of personal protective equipment, training, promotion of events and social projects were identified. These practices, in general, increased revenues by attracting more consumers to their products and improving the company's image. Therefore, the small companies of vegan products that were surveyed develop practices aimed at balancing the sustainable tripod, generating environmental and social value, and not just obtaining economic gains.


ARAGÓN-CORREA, J. A., HURTADO-TORRES, N., SHARMA, S., & GARCÍA-MORALES, J. (2008). Environmental strategy and performance in small firms: A resource-based perspective. Journal of Environmental Management, 86(1), 88–103.

BALASUBRAMANIAN, S., & SHUKLA, V. (2017). Green supply chain management: an empirical investigation on the construction sector. Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, 22(1), 58–81.

BERENDS, H., JELINEK, M., REYMEN, I. & STULTIËNS, R.(2014). Product Innovation Processes in Small Firms: Combining entrepreneurial effectuation and managerial causation. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 31 (3), 616-635.

BOS‐BROUWERS, H. E. J. (2010). Corporate sustainability and innovation in SMEs: evidence of themes and activities in practice. Business strategy and the environment, 19(7), 417-435.

BURKI, U. (2018). Green supply chain management, green innovations, and green practices. In Innovative Solutions for Sustainable Supply Chains (pp. 81-109). Springer, Cham.

DEPKEN, D., & ZEMAN, C. (2018). Small business challenges and the Triple Bottom Line, TBL: Needs assessment in a Midwest State, USA. ☆. Technological Forecasting & Social Change, 135, 44–50.

ELKINGTON, J. (1998a). Accounting for the Triple Bottom Line. Measuring Business Excellence, 2(3), 18–22.

ELKINGTON, J. (1998b). Partnerships from cannibals with forks: The Triple Bottom Line of 21st‐century business. Environmental Quality Management, 8(1), 37–51.

FAGERBERG, J. (2018). Mobilizing innovation for sustainability transitions: A comment on transformative innovation policy. Research Policy, 47(9), 1568–1576.

GIL, A. C. (2002). Como elaborar projetos de pesquisa (Vol. 4, p. 175). São Paulo: Atlas.

GUPTA, H. (2017). Integration of Quality and Innovation Practices for Global Sustainability: An Empirical Study of Indian SMEs. Global Business Review, 18(1), 210–225.

KLEWITZ, J., & HANSEN, E. G. (2014). Sustainability-oriented innovation of SMEs : a systematic review. Journal of Cleaner Production, 65, 57–75.

LÓPEZ, M. V., GARCIA, A., & RODRIGUEZ, L. (2007). Sustainable Development and Corporate Performance: A Study Based on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. Journal of Business Ethics, 75(3), 285–300.

RASIT, Z. A., ZAKARIA, M., HASHIM, M., RAMLI, A., & MOHAMED, M. (2019). Green Supply Chain Management (GSCM) Practices for Sustainability Performance: An Empirical Evidence of Malaysian SMEs. International Journal of Financial Research, 10(3), 371–379.

SAJAN, M. P., SHALIJ, P. R., RAMESH, A., & BIJU AUGUSTINE, P. (2017). Lean manufacturing practices in Indian manufacturing SMEs and their effect on sustainability performance. Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, 28(6), 772–793.

SCANDELARI, V. R. N. (2011). Inovação e sustentabilidade: ambidestralidade e desempenho sustentável na indústria eletroeletrônica (Tese de doutorado). Universidade Federal do Paraná, Paraná, PR, Brasil.

SILVA, C. L. D., Casagrande Junior, E. F., Lima, I. A. D., Silva, M. C. D., Agudelo, L. P. P., & Pimenta, R. B. (2012). Inovação e sustentabilidade. Curitiba: Aymará Educação.

SOCIEDADE VEGETARIANA BRASILEIRA. (2018). Pesquisa do IBOPE aponta crescimento histórico no número de vegetarianos no Brasil. Retrieved from

STYLOS, N., & VASSILIADIS, C. (2015). Differences in sustainable management between four-and five-star hotels regarding the perceptions of three-pillar sustainability. Journal of Hospitality Marketing & Management, 24(8), 791-825.

THE VEGAN SOCIETY. (2017). Why go vegan? Retrieved from

UNITED NATIONS. (2015). Transforming our world: The 2030 agenda for sustainable development. General Assembley 70 session.

WASNER, I., & MAJCHRZAK, T. A. (2015, January). Sustainability Management Control Practice: A Study of German SMEs. In 2015 48th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (pp. 876-885). IEEE.

WILSON, J. P. (2015). The triple bottom line: Undertaking an economic , social , and environmental retail sustainability strategy. International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, 43(4/5), 432–447.

WORLD COMMISSION ON ENVIRONMENT AND DEVELOPMENT. (1987). Our common future. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

YIN, R. (2015). Estudo de caso: planejamento e métodos. 5. ed. Porto Alegre: Bookman.