Books  Sustainable Development  Economics, Business & Industry  Business & the Environment 

Big Business, Big Responsibilities: From Villains to Visionaries: How Companies are Tackling the World's Greatest Challenges

By: Andy Wales (Author), Matthew Gorman (Author), Dunstan Hope (Author)

192 pages, 2 tables


Hardback | Jun 2010 | #206175 | ISBN-13: 9780230243958
Availability: Usually dispatched within 1-2 weeks Details
NHBS Price: £29.99 $37/€34 approx

About this book

Big business is often painted as the villain when it comes to the environment or social wellbeing. There is certainly good evidence of what some businesses have done wrong in the past. But times are changing. Leading businesses are often now the visionaries: leaders in the fight against climate change, protectors of human rights and supporters of international development. Big Business, Big Responsibilities shares the inside track on why some of the world's best known brands are doing this not as philanthropy but as a core part of business strategy: protecting the environmental systems they depend on, building consumer trust and creating new markets to ensure long term success.

Big Business, Big Responsibilities describes the surprising speed with which business is recognizing that it will thrive best in societies that succeed and identifies the major challenges that still need to be overcome for business to make its full contribution.

"Major global businesses not only create millions of jobs and great products for consumers, but are also beginning to play a leading role in tackling some of the biggest challenges of our time, from resolving water scarcity to lifting people out of poverty. This book explains in dynamic fashion why taking this approach is fast becoming 'business as usual' for some of the world's largest companies, and provides an inside track on why those who take this approach are more likely to win in the marketplace"
- Graham Mackay, Chief Executive, SABMiller plc

"This is a book that many of us have been waiting for! Written by three 'insiders,' it describes how social pressures are influencing corporate behaviour. It will change, for the better, both the tone and substance of debates over corporate social responsibility."
- Ethan B. Kapstein, INSEAD Chair in Political Economy, INSEAD Business School, France

"A new generation of leaders give the inside story on how to become a sustainability-responsible leader. Indispensable."
- Sara Parkin, Founder Director, Forum for the Future

"This unusual book highlights and humanizes the challenges facing those who wish to effect social progress from within a system rather than outside of it. It provides a useful and timely map through the distrust and conflict that can too easily arise where capitalism and activism meet."
- Jonathan Zittrain, Professor of Law, Harvard Law School; Author, The Future of the Internet – And How to Stop It

"Dunstan Hope, Andy Wales and Matthew Gorman have written a book that captures beautifully the realistic idealism that is at the heart of the modern sustainability movement. Their book is a great guide to the ways that companies are making a difference in the world while also enhancing their competitiveness."
- Aron Cramer, President and CEO, Business for Social Responsibility

"The role of business in helping establish a more sustainable economy is much discussed these days – especially by NGOs and academics. We don't often hear from the practitioners: those charged with front-line responsibility for mainstreaming sustainability across their respective companies. Calling on their 30 years of combined experience, the authors of Big Business – Big Responsibilities eloquently fill that gap, with a wealth of insights and good practice examples from companies in many different sectors."
- Jonathon Porritt, author of Capitalism as if the World Matters


- ntroduction
- A challenging world with some unexpected heroes
- The scale of the challenge for change
- Changing course: how big business began to lead
- The new collaboration zone
- Beware the power of the naysayers
- Smarter products and better protected consumers
- Looking beyond the label
- New responsibilities in the networked age
- Complexity, innovation and regulation
- Who is driving change?
- The government of big business
- Everyday champions
- Conclusion -The view from here – successful companies in a sustainable world

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Andy Wales is Global Head of Sustainable Development for SABMiller, one of the world's largest brewers. He is a board member of a number of key global water initiatives, and also leads a strategy encouraging local enterprise development across Africa, Asia and Latin America. He was recognized as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2009 and in 2010 was appointed a London Sustainable Development Commissioner. He has previously been Sustainability Director for Severn Trent plc and for Interface, Inc.

Matthew Gorman is Director of Corporate Responsibility& Environment at BAA Ltd, the UK's leading airport operator and an expert on climate change policy. He is deputy chair of the UK aviation industry's sustainability strategy ('Sustainable Aviation'). Prior to BAA, Matthew worked at Forum for the Future, a leading UK not-for-profit organization. He has worked extensively advising FTSE 100 companies on corporate responsibility.

Dunstan Hope is Managing Director of the Information and Communications Technology practice at BSR, a global non-profit business membership organization that advises Fortune 500 companies. Prior to BSR Dunstan spent five years in the sustainability team at British Telecommunications. Dunstan has worked extensively on human rights, corporate accountability and technology issues in Europe, the USA and Asia. He has played a leading role in the establishment of multiple human rights initiatives in the technology industry.

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