1st Edition

Capitalism as if the World Matters

By Jonathon Porritt Copyright 2007
    384 Pages
    by Routledge

    384 Pages
    by Routledge

    When first published, Capitalism as if the World Matters, by one of the leading 'eco-warriors' of our time, shocked a generation of both environmentalists and business people. Jonathon Porritt brushed aside their artificial battle lines with a powerful argument that the only way to save the world from environmental catastrophe is to embrace a new type of capitalism, and to do it quickly. In this substantially revised and updated edition, Porritt extends his powerful and controversial argument by providing fresh evidence and suggesting new actions.

    New content includes in-depth coverage of the USA, with case studies examining the role of huge American corporations such as Wal-Mart and General Electric, plus a close look at China and the global impact this economic giant may have in the twenty-first century. This is a must-read for everyone who has a stake in the future of the world, from business executives to environmental activists, from community leaders to the politicians with their hands on the levers of power. Published with Forum for the Future

    Foreword by Amory B. Lovins.  Acknowledgements.  Introduction.  Part 1: Our Unsustainable World.  Conflicting Imperatives.  Sustainable Development for Real.  Re-engaging with Economic Growth.  Unsustainable Capitalism?  Through the Global Looking Glass.  Part 2: A Framework for Sustainable Capitalism.  The Five Capitals Framework.  Natural Capital.  Human Capital. Social Capital.  Manufactured Capital.  Financial Capital.  Part 3: Better Lives in a Better World  Confronting Denial.  Changing the Metrics.  Business Excellence.  Civil Society.  Visions and Values.  Converging Imperatives.  Index.


    Jonathon Porritt is Co-Founder and Programme Director of Forum for the Future. A leading adviser to business and industry, he was appointed by the prime minister as Chairman of the new UK Sustainable Development Commission. He is Co-Director of The Prince of Wales's Business and Environment Programme as well as a Board Member of the South West Regional Development Agency in the UK.

    "A message that businesses may find they are surprised to agree with." – Financial Times

    "... could not have come at a more timely and critical moment ... A vital contribution to the most compelling issue of our times." – Will Hutton, author of The Writing on the Wall: China and the West in the 21st Century

    "... the best account of where we are now and how we might move ahead. Porritt's book is a brave and important working draft for an essential positive alternative." – The Observer

    "To renew and rebuild, we need to listen to the voices of the few truly selfless and thoughtful individuals among us, and Jonathon Porritt is one of them."James Lovelock, creator of the GAIA Theory

    "One of the most prominent voices promoting green issues over the last 25 years." – Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair

    "This is a very thoughtful and timely book. Many of those working towards a more sustainable future for our planet see capitalism as a big part of the problem. And with good reason. But if capitalism and free markets cannot be bent towards sustainability - towards being part of the solution - then I believe there is no solution. Hence the importance of this book. Read it."Lord May, President, The Royal Society

    "This is a genuinely important book by one of Britain's most eminent environmentalists"Jonathan Dimbleby, political commentator and broadcaster

    "As ex-chair of the Green Party, one-time director of Friends of the Earth, and co-founder and Director of Forum for the Future, Porritt is possibly the best person to write a book such as this. The reader can feel confident that his views are based on a desire to create a sustainable future rather than less laudable reasons ... an important factor when dealing with such a revolutionary book." – Pauline Thomas, The Waste Paper

    "No US authors have matched this book's treatment of the interconnections between the environment, finance and economy, industry and technology, psychology and politics. Porritt depicts chilling vignettes, and decries greed and unbridled materialism without impugning business as a whole ... The book invites and repays detailed study."Choice

    "This book is excellent, readable, comprehensive and ultimately quite optimistic. Essential reading for anyone interested in the world, the environment, humanity or the future."Warmer Bulletin

    "This book may well challenge any Christian environmentalists that see capitalism as the enemy."Methodist Recorder

    "In this brilliant and timely book Porritt has thrown down the gauntlet and provided the necessary data and analysis on our collective dilemma."David Lorimer, Scientific and Medical Network Review

    "Too many environmentalists see capitalism as the enemy. Porritt grapples with its reality - a system capable of delivering sustainability and enhancing wellbeing, but only if we think carefully about what form of capitalism we want. This book stimulates that thinking."Adair Turner

    "All too often, NGOs have to campaign against commercial activities that cause environmental degradation around the world. Our message about unsustainable lifestyles is increasingly understood, but greater thought leadership among business and governments is needed. In this refreshing observation of capitalism, Porritt positions the opportunities provided by sustainable development brilliantly." – Robert Napier, Chief Executive, WWF-UK

    "Here's a compelling book that should sound the trumpet for a whole new generation of engaged and optimistic young people, establishing once and for all that we still have choices - we don't have to sleepwalk our way into the future."David Puttnam

    "Porritt has applied a decade of experience with business and government to address the dilemma that, while capitalism is the most effective system for satisfying human needs, that process is putting intolerable strains on our ecology and climate. The book is a lively and penetrating discussion of how we can build on growing business interest in the challenges and opportunities." – Mark Moody-Stuart, Chairman, Anglo American plc

    "Porritt's green credentials are unquestioned, and I was impressed by his obvious desire to try and reconcile the gulf between environmentalists and supporters of capitalism."The Tablet (Catholic Weekly)

    "We need more people like Porritt ... prepared to ... find the best ways to save both the environment and the capitalist system" – Professional Investor

    "Everyone has a stake in the future of the world, from business executives to environmental activists, from community leaders to politicians with their hands on the lever of power, will find this a provocative and interesting read."Sustainability

    "Revised and updated edition considers a new type of capitalism that could help save the world from environmental catastrophe."Journal of Economic Literature

    "It's brilliant - containing a wealth of material and argument... The fire of the eco-prophet constrantly burns through, making the booth both more readable and provocative." Your Environment, the Environment Agency magazine