Chapter 7 - The Sociology of Sustainable Development

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Unformatted text preview: such corporate sustainability has grown since 1992 as evidenced by a plethora of publications on the subject of business and sustainable development, including a new publishing company (Greenleaf Publishing) dedicated to helping businesses “make profit while performing sustainably,” as well as a new journal dedicated to such endeavors, the Journal of Industrial Ecology. An example presented by the Business Council for Sustainable Development of a corporation taking “successful steps toward sustainable development” is the case of the U.S.-based transnational corporation, Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing (3M). 3M produces a number of consumer products, including tape. 3M was an early initiator of voluntary environmental actions through its Pollution Prevention Policy (“3P”), that the corporation implemented in 1975. According to 3M’s own literature, “3P was established because it is more environmentally effective, technically sound and economical than conventional pollution controls.”43 The company tries to prevent pollution at the source rather than by managing its outputs, the company’s wastes. 3M has four strategies to reducing pollution: “product reformulation, process modification, equipment redesign, and recycling and reuse of waste materials.” An example of such a strategy was the redesign of a resin spray booth that 230 CHAPTER SEVEN cost $45,000 to implement but saves $125,000 a year in resin incineration disposal. 3M has won awards from the U.S. Council on Sustainable Development and the National Wildlife Federation. In addition, in the twenty-five year life of the 3P project, 3M reduced corporate pollutants by 771,000 tons and saved $810 million. 3M’s goals are to move toward zero emissions to the environment. This has also been the goal of “industrial ecology” and “ecological modernization” policies in general. As introduced in Chapter 5, the premise of the ecological modernization approach to environmental protection is that there is a material environmental problem that can be improved through industrial p...
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This note was uploaded on 10/25/2010 for the course SOSCI INBA6610 taught by Professor Prescott during the Fall '08 term at University of the West Indies at St. Augustine.

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