1st Edition

Corporate Sustainability in the 21st Century Increasing the Resilience of Social-Ecological Systems

By Rafael Sardá, Stefano Pogutz Copyright 2019
    392 Pages 61 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    392 Pages 61 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Corporate sustainability needs a rethink. We have entered the human-influenced Anthropocene age, and we are witnessing accelerating changes in earth system processes. Businesses’ current initiatives, such as product innovation and pollution reduction, are not enough to combat the intensifying social-ecological challenges that face us.

    Corporate Sustainability in the 21st Century is an innovative new textbook which provides a fresh conceptual framework for understanding and engaging with sustainability, now and in the future – "Business In Nature." This book critically discusses key concepts and topics related to corporate sustainability, with a focus on corporate sustainability strategies and corporate value chains. Setting itself apart from existing books, it introduces ideas from global ecology and the natural sciences to provide readers with a new language for discussing business and sustainability.

    This book maintains an international perspective throughout, with a wealth of examples, case studies and discussion questions. It will be a valuable text for students of corporate sustainability; business, nature and society; and environmental studies, and will also be useful for managers seeking a new perspective on how being "green" can fit with business goals.

    Theme I Business In Nature 1 Welcome to the Anthropocene; 2 Corporate sustainability in the 21st century; 3 The "Business In Nature" concept; Theme II Rethinking the corporate value chain 4 Driving production systems sustainable; 5 Managing sustainable supply chains; 6 Making sustainable products and services; 7 Innovating business models for sustainability; Theme III Corporate sustainability implementation 8 Designing and implementing a sustainability plan


    Rafael Sardá, Senior Scientist of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), and Academic Collaborator of the Operations, Innovation and Data Sciences Department at ESADE Business School, Ramon Llull University, Spain.

    Stefano Pogutz, Senior Researcher and Tenured Faculty, Department of Management and Technology, and Sustainability Lab, SDA Bocconi School of Management, Bocconi University, Italy, and Chair of the CEMS (the Global Alliance in Management Education) Faculty Group, "Business and the Environment".

    "This is an excellent and very timely book.  Our development of knowledge at the nexus of business and the natural environment has provided scholars with a basis for classroom discussions.  But the models and nomenclature that we have developed have generally been extensions of business concepts.  For the first time, we have a textbook that starts from a different premise.  Sardá and Pogutz draw from science to create a more balanced approach to learning that will permit business professionals to understand how they can productively engage with science and scientists on issues critical to the business-environment relationship.  This is the clearest pathway to solutions that respect environmental and geophysical realities as well as economic ones."

    Mike Russo, Lundquist Professor of Sustainable Management and Academic Director, Center for Sustainable Business Practices, University of Oregon


    "Business needs to shift the sustainability perspective from minimizing its negative impacts to positively contributing to society. This is what we mean with Business Sustainability 3.0 or True Business Sustainability. In this new book, Rafael Sardà and Stefano Pogutz introduce a new framework – Business In Nature – that positions business in a social-ecological systems context. The book provides a systematic and up-to-date overview of approaches, methodologies and tools to manage companies within natural boundaries. Building on more than 20 years of experience in research and teaching in this field, the authors offer helpful examples and cases to show how companies can “truly” address the sustainability challenges of the 21st century."

    Thomas Dyllick, Managing Director of the Institute for Economy and the Environment (IWÖ-HSG) and Professor at the University of St. Gallen



    "Written by two leading scholars in the field, this book is a badly needed reading.

    With the aim of addressing the inescapable environmental challenges, the volume goes beyond trivial catchphrases and mainstream interpretations. It deeply analyzes the strategic implications of the current , multifaceted ecological crisis to identify advanced and viable solutions (that is, innovative policies, new business models, fitting tools) , which make alternative managerial paradigms possible, attractive, and no longer deniable."

    Antonio Tencati, Full Professor of Management, University of Brescia, Italy



    "Hundreds of books deal with the problems of the earth's environmental issues, but we have not reached the point of expressing exactly what the problem is. Any element of sustainable development is a real wicked problem. Boulding, who is the father of system theory, in an aphorism summed up the point: "And yet the politicians shudder to think of one hand on one rudder, because nobody can agree on who’s the guiding hand should be." Sustainable development is a phenomenon that we do not agree with in almost anything. Whether it is climate change, hunger or poverty. There are a lot of books that focus on a particular area of the problems, written by excellent professionals, but since the essence of wicked problems is that there is no profession exist which could solve them alone. The scientific literature only transmits fragmented knowledge to the society. The book of Rafael Sarda and Stefano Pogutz is not one book among others which were written to save the Earth. Sarda is a professor of Ecology, and Pogutz is a professor of Management. Usually no communication among the representatives of this professions, and they don’t trust each other either. This book therefore belongs to the category of miracles because it proves that it is possible to create understanding between professions and the benefit of it, that even complex problems can be solved with a multidisciplinary approach. For more than twenty years, the two authors have been trying to transmit to the business students their shared values according to our common future. The book by Rafael Sarda and Stefano Pogutz is the proof of shared values and fruitful co-operation between the two professions. Perhaps the twenty-year-old friendship of the authors and the warmth of the blue sky over the Mediterranean Sea make it possible them to write about complex problems in an understandable way. When we read the book we can be optimistic about the future. The book sends to us the message, we have to change our values, which will be difficult, but we can make it. It would be good for the world if many people would read this thought-rich book!"

    Sándor Kerekes, Professor Emeritus of Corvinus University Budapest