This study operationalizes corporate sustainable development and examines its organizational determinants. Data for this project pertain to Canadian firms in the oil and gas, mining, and forestry industries from 1986 to 1995. I find that both resource-based and institutional factors influence corporate sustainable development. By exploring time-related effects, I also find that media pressures were important in early periods and resource-based opportunities endured over time. This finding challenges the assumption that firms first adopt innovations in response to technical rewards which are later institutionalized. These counter-intuitive results may be attributable to the unique characteristics of the dependent variable, corporate sustainable development. They raise important questions and directions for future research. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.