Crossroads Notes - Capitalism at the Crossroads prologue...

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Capitalism at the Crossroads , prologue Today’s Global dynamics are described: population growth revolution in information and communications technology development of a consumer society globalization Describes implications for corporations environmental issues human rights inequities cultural imperialism loss of local autonomy anti-corporate sentiment (fueled by Enron) An answer? Sustainable Global Enterprise - a private sector based approach to development that creates profitable businesses that also: raise the quality of life for the world’s poorest citizens respect cultural diversity conserve our ecology Capitalism at the Crossroads , chapter 1 States succinctly that: business and corporations are uniquely equipped to lead us to a sustainable world in the near future, not government or civil society the profit motive can accelerate the transformation towards a global sustainability is an optimistic message that is not heard often The Trade-Off Illusion Pollution has historically been assumed to be part of industrialization Concept of externalities Required a command and control, regulatory relationship with society to counteract that mind set resulted in the Great Trade Off Illusion Business must sacrifice profits to meet societal obligations Regulations were written without regard to efficiency or cost effectiveness environmental and social issues were thought of negatively by business, could only reduce profits led to reactive attitudes, do the bare minimum to get by legally the symptoms were treated, not the problems Shattering the Myth with the 80’s came awareness that preventing pollution was cheaper than cleaning it up awareness slowly dawned that corporate and societal performance were not separate issues
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preventing pollution through process or product redesign could save money, reduce risk, improve products sustainability moved from an expensive problem to a strategic opportunity Voluntary Initiatives Introduced Toxic Release Inventory , companies must track toxic chemicals Benchmarking of corporate performance based on the TRI Extended producer responsibility laws o Common in Europe o Producers must take back products after they have reached the end of their life o Led to different life cycle design principles to producers Proactive efforts to reduce waste and emissions while reducing costs Internalizing externalities Sustainability Hart advocates a new form of natural capitalism Instead of being “more eco-efficient” be “eco-effective” Corporations are challenged to: o Develop new technologies that are inherently clean o Bring the benefits to the entire world, not just those at the economic summit o Serve the bottom of the pyramid as well o Rethink global one size fits all product strategies o Become indigenous Develop local understanding
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