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In Earth's Company:
In recent years, people have looked more and more to the business world to take their share of responsibility for the fast-deteriorating state of the Earth. But exactly how businesses should go about this task has remained something of a puzzle. Now, with In Earth's Company, well-known business and environment writer Carl Frankel deftly gathers the pieces of the puzzle together into a single, comprehensive volume. Frankel describes the history and meaning of the term 'sustainable development' as the effective balancing of economic growth, environmental protection, and social equity, and outlines key contributors to the concept - such as the Green consumer movement, the Brundtland Report, and the Earth Summit. He goes on to analyse how corporations have attempted to integrate environmental concerns into their operations through public environmental reporting, ISO 14000, and Total Quality Management, as well as current corporate trends such as zero waste, and multi-stakeholder partnerships. Critical of current techniques for measuring environmental performance, Frankel then discusses emerging corporate strategies for improving the business record on the environment, as well as strategies for making the entire industrial system more sustainable, such as 'Factor 10,' industrial ecology, The Natural Step, and environmental accounting. Concluding that the business record to date regarding sustainability is at best uneven, Frankel calls for greater emphasis on collaboration, process and quality in all dimensions of business practice, as well as a 'new humanism' requiring corporations to be more sensitive to the full range of human concerns and to include social equity into the calculation of the 'bottom line.' Lucid and authoritative, In Earth's Company offers provocative guidance and an intriguing glimpse into an area of key importance for the future. It will be of equal interest to business executives, environmentalists, and to ordinary citizens concerned about the state of the Earth. [via]