Eco-Efficiency: The Business Link to Sustainable Development

By Livio D. DeSimone; Frank Popoff | Go to book overview

7 A Leadership Role
for Business

Sustainable development is not a stable state, a plateau we reach and say, "We've made it, now we can turn to something else." It is a process whose central aim is leaving future generations with an array of choices.Achieving this requires the bringing together of economic, environmental, and social imperatives. The economic imperative is to manage our resources efficiently while contributing to the prosperity of all by adding value. The environmental imperative is not to exceed what the earth, the oceans, and the atmosphere are capable of providing and absorbing and to remedy already damaged systems. The social imperative is to put humanity at the center of our concern, with its value of equal opportunity, social justice and freedom.

We have shown that many businesses are already making positive responses to these imperatives. They are thinking of the world beyond today and adopting eco-efficiency and eco-innovation to improve the prospects for tomorrow.

To some degree, these changes are a result of continuing pressures from customers, investors, employees, legislators, and, increasingly, from banks and insurance companies. Companies adopting a strategy of eco‐ efficiency know that simply responding to pressure is not enough. Not enough to achieve sustainable development. Not enough to retain the social legitimacy of business. And not enough to prosper in the sustainability-shaped markets of tomorrow.

They know the importance of proactively pursuing resource productivity. This not only delivers more to society from less but also catalyzes more general innovation. Achieving it will become even more critical as the world becomes increasingly crowded and runs out of acceptable sinks for wastes and pollution, and as valuable resources become scarcer and increasingly costly.

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Eco-Efficiency: The Business Link to Sustainable Development
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Eco-Efficiency - The Business Link to Sustainable Development *
  • Contents *
  • Foreword *
  • Views of Business Leaders *
  • Acknowledgments *
  • Introduction *
  • 1 - Eco-Efficiency and Sustainable Development *
  • 2 - Eco-Efficiency and the Bottom Line *
  • 3 - Defining and Measuring Eco-Efficiency *
  • 4 - Becoming Eco-Efficient *
  • 5 - Partnership for Eco-Efficiency *
  • 6 - Case Studies *
  • 7 - A Leadership Role for Business *
  • Notes *
  • Wbcsd Working Group on Eco-Efficiency *
  • Index *
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