Corporate Approaches to Sustainable Development: International Experiences and Insights


Corporate Approaches to Sustainable Development


Impact: Issues concerning corporate sustainability practices, procedures, motivations and effects are traditionally focussed at the global level. At this level, large-scale multinational corporations, states, NGOs and national businesses are the focus. This approach places local and regional stakeholders in relatively passive or indirect modes of interaction. In this way, sustainability measures are widely understood to be implemented from the top down through public or corporate policy. The general assumption is that businesses only pursue profit, whilst public policy contains business interests and acts as the sole drivers of social and environmental outcomes. The political and social power of large-scale corporations through their capacity to redirect enormous financial reserves, and to enable systemic changes, is cited as evidence to support this view (Potts, J Clean Prod 18:713–725, 2010). Such a position would further suggest that enforcement and reactive responses are characteristic of the current process towards sustainability practices (Strand, J Bus Ethics 123:687–706, 2014). This chapter provides an overview of such issues to introduce this manuscript.