Academic journal article Electronic Green Journal

Eco-Business: A Big-Brand Takeover of Sustainability

Academic journal article Electronic Green Journal

Eco-Business: A Big-Brand Takeover of Sustainability

Article excerpt

Dauvergne, Peter and Lister, Jane. Eco-Business: A Big-Brand Takeover of Sustainability. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2013. x+194 pp. ISBN 9780262018760, hardcover, alkaline paper. US $26.95. ISBN 9780262313056, e-book, US$ 18.95.

According to Peter Dauvergne & Jane Lister, global environmentalism effectively began in 1970 when "...about 20 million people gathered across the United States for one of the largest organized demonstrations ever held: the first Earth Day" (p. 30)., The rise of what they coin as "corporate environmentalism" burgeoned from 1992, however, in the aftermath of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio (p. 31). These two positions (a genuine environmentalism vs. "corporate environmentalism") are opposed in this book. Simply put, Dauvergne and Lister argue that by the 1990s, multinational corporations realized that environmentalism can be lucrative for them so they embarked onto the eco-train without adopting its fundamental aim to stop the growth and avoid overconsumption: "big brands are now turning to ecobusiness to re-design and reposition aspects and components of their mainstream brands to capture new sales" (p. 76). The authors of Eco-Business note that during the last ten years, most corporations have succeeded in their strategies "to produce more with less" (p. 56).

As aptly demonstrated here, all these environment-friendly efforts are planned, codified, calculated, and marketed at a large scale; even green certifications and Eco-Labeling can be highly profitable for businesses, although the main goals for these corporations remain overall control and the preservation of their public image (p. 105). The corporations targeted here are numerous and diversified, from Walmart and The Home Depot to IBM or IKEA; there is no individual target (p. 104). The authors concentrate on new trends and deconstruct many new marketing strategies promoted by corporations in the name of sustainable development. With the adjunction of interactive technology and newly designed online devices, big corporations can now promote their plans for a sustainable lifestyle through their adapted products and consuming strategies based on sustainable branding and eco-packaging (p. …

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