The complexity of sustainability is becoming a key theme in management research and a growing body of studies have showed that organizations have to cope with many trade-offs, tensions and conflicts in their sustainability efforts. The huge challenges that sustainability poses – e.g., climate change, loss of biodiversity, social inequalities – cannot be totally understand and managed considering a single actor . The GVC framework emerged as particularly effecting in showing the importance to overcome the single firm strategy lens, and account for supra-firm dynamics – i.e. the role of global lead firms, global standards, power asymmetries. Thus, in this paper we aim at bringing the GVC perspective in the paradox and corporate sustainability literature through the analysis of sustainability tensions and their management in the leather GVC, to identify which tensions emerges across GVC partners and how they might undermine the effort of the firms embedded and reduce the overall sustainability performance.