Chapter 7 - The Sociology of Sustainable Development

The purpose is twofold 1 to highlight different types

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Unformatted text preview: ween the state and environmental movements Top-down initiatives; limited stateenvironmental movements dialogue Open-ended dialogue and envisioning Bottom-up community structures and control. New approach to valuing work Civil Society Anthropocentric Ecocentric/ biocentric Philosophy THE SOCIOLOGY OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT 229 C O N S E R VAT I V E S T R AT E G I E S F O R S U S TA I N A B L E D E V E L O P M E N T This section looks at concrete examples of sustainable development projects. The purpose is twofold: (1) to highlight different types of sustainable development strategies, and (2) to present critiques of the strategies. Corporate Sustainable Development The Business Council for Sustainable Development prepared an influential publication on business and the environment, Changing Course: A Global Business Perspective on Development and the Environment, in 1992.40 Changing Course represents a conservative strategy for sustainable development—one that operates within the boundaries of free-market capitalism. The book opens with the council’s declaration for sustainable development. “Business will play a vital role in the future health of this planet. As business leaders, we are committed to sustainable development, to meeting the needs of the present without compromising the welfare of future generations.”41 Over fifty corporations from around the world, including Germany’s Volkswagen, Japan’s Mitsubishi, Kenya’s First Chartered Securities Ltd., and Brazil’s Aracruz Celulose, endorse this declaration. These organizations that comprise the Business Council assembled prior to the Earth Summit to make recommendations to the national leaders meeting in Rio. Critics of the Business Council argue that a more apt name for the group would be the Sustainable Council for Business Development because they present themselves “as part of the solution to the global environmental crisis rather than as part of the problem.”42 Changing Course offers examples and recommendations for managing “cleaner” production and improving corporations’ environmental records. Interest in...
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