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Walmart. Coca-Cola. BP. Toyota. The world economy runs on the profits of transnational corporations. Politicians need their backing. Nonprofits rely on their philanthropy. People look to their brands for meaning. And their power continues to rise.
Now, facing a mounting global environmental crisis, can big business provide the solutions? Absolutely, the CEOs are responding: big business not only has the global power, in-house guidelines for corporate social responsibility will ensure it happens, voluntarily.
Really? Peter Dauvergne agrees that our crisis would be worse without the recent increase in corporate recycling, energy efficiency, and smart packaging. Yet he holds his applause, arguing that big business is still doing far more to destroy, than protect, our planet. In his judgment trusting big business to lead sustainability is unwise, perhaps even catastrophic. Planetary sustainability will require reining in the power of big business, starting now.
1 Total Destruction?
2 The Rising Power of Big Business
3 The Business of CSR
4 The Dark Side of Big Business
5 The Consumption Problem
6 Less Destruction
Peter Dauvergne is a professor of international relations at the University of British Columbia
"Peter Dauvergne's book is so reasonably argued it's hard to believe his conclusion is so radical. Put bluntly, without growth corporations will die, so they must keep selling us more stuff. It's in the system's DNA. But the organism is now devouring its host, and we need a mutation – fast."
– Clive Hamilton, Charles Sturt University, Canberra