Business, sustainability, and the bottom of the pyramid

Authored by: Ana Maria Peredo

Routledge Handbook of the History of Sustainability

Print publication date:  October  2017
Online publication date:  October  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138685796
eBook ISBN: 9781315543017
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315543017-23

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Abstract

The 1972 publication of Limits to Growth sent a shock wave through those sectors of the industrialized world where people were concerned about human society and its environment (Meadows et al. 1972). It attracted a variety of reactions, but prominent among them was a mushrooming interest in what came to be called “sustainability,” an interest that was amplified by the report of the Brundtland Commission in 1987 (World Commission on Environment and Development 1987). That interest brought with it a sense that widespread and fundamental changes in societal arrangements were necessary if a durable place for human habitation was to be recovered on earth. Those sharing that conviction warned that the kinds of changes needed were likely to be resisted by many with vested interests, and those interests were especially strong in the profit-driven corporate and business sector that was doing quite well in the setting of existing arrangements (see, e.g., Brown 1981: 318–26). Sustainability and business interests were seen as sources of potential, and even likely, conflict.

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