Purpose – This paper aims to identify the pattern of CSR programs run by PT Unilever Indonesia Tbk, PT Sari Husada PT, Astra International Tbk, and PT Aneka Tambang Tbk. Design/methodology/approach – The research was focused on three main areas, namely: relation of CSR programs with the companies' core businesses; coverage of the programs on triple bottom line (economic, social, and environmental); and the execution of CSR programs as sustainable development and the companies' competitive advantage. It used a qualitative approach, i.e. a case study. Primary and secondary data are in the form of information about CSR programs conducted by the four companies from sustainable reports downloaded from each respective company's web site, mass media news downloaded from the internet, and other literature studies. Findings – The case study shows high commitment from the four companies to the execution of CSR programs and business ethics. They also attempt to carry out programs involving the triple bottom line. Also, this case study found that two consumer goods companies (Unilever Indonesia and Sari Husada) and one manufacturing company (Astra International) conduct CSR programs that are both related and unrelated to their core businesses while a mining company (Aneka Tambang) tends to conduct CSR programs that are unrelated to its core business. Another finding from this case study is that both related and unrelated programs are forms of the companies' sustainable development. Research limitations/implications – The primary data in this case study were only collected from the publications of CSR programs, and from company web sites or news coverage accessed via the internet, and so may be incomplete and not detailed. Therefore, it would be better to include in-depth interviews with the companies to support the primary data in a further study. In general, this research brings a specific understanding of the qualitative research method. In particular, it gives a greater understanding of the importance of all applications in a case study. The procedures, types, designs and data analysis methods in the study case can be comprehended clearly. Originality/value – The results of this case study can improve comprehension of the CSR concepts and theories, business ethics, sustainable development and reputations used to identify the pattern of CSR programs implemented by the four companies as research objects. Last but not least, the results of the case study give detailed comprehension regarding the CSR practices of several companies in Indonesia, based on the companies' characteristics, CSR programs' relations to the core business, CSR programs covering the triple bottom line, and the sustainability of the CSR programs.