Summary of Eco-Business

A Big-Brand Takeover of Sustainability

MIT Press, more...

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Eco-Business book summary
Greenpeace is a sustainability champion, but so are Walmart, Coca-Cola and McDonald’s.


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McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, General Electric, Nestlé, Nike and other top companies now pursue high-profile environmental initiatives to save money and to save the planet. Surprisingly, today Fortune 500 firms set the bar for sustainability, and governments and nongovernmental organizations follow their lead. In 2011, as the holiday shopping season opened, outdoor-clothing company Patagonia sponsored a full-page New York Times ad headlined: “Don’t Buy This Jacket.” The ad said, “To lighten our environmental footprint, everyone needs to consume less.” That is only one example that researchers Peter Dauvergne and Jane Lister unearth as they detail the corporate sustainability push and show how big companies sometimes use their muscle for good. Their one flaw is repetition; the same points appear in every chapter. Still, getAbstract recommends their insights to businesspeople seeking to emulate the visionary activities of top firms, participants in the global supply chain, and people who want to mitigate environmental degradation and to know where to shop.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why big companies practice “ecobusiness” and become environmental champions
  • How their ecobusiness practices benefit the bottom line and the environment
  • How they work with government and nonprofits


“Corporate Social Responsibility”
Sustainability is the new corporate watchword. Its champions include Nestlé, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Walmart, GE and Nike. Sustainability calls for renewable energy and sustainable sourcing, and it advocates cutting waste, reducing deforestation and limiting...
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About the Authors

Peter Dauvergne is professor of political science and director of the Liu Institute for Global Issues at the University of British Columbia. Sustainability governance scholar Jane Lister is a senior research fellow at the Liu Institute.

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