1st Edition

Frugal Value
Designing Business for a Crowded Planet

ISBN 9781783533381
Published July 4, 2017 by Routledge
210 Pages

USD $37.95

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Book Description

We live in unprecedented times. Climate change and ecosystem collapse are altering our world beyond recognition, and a growing global population is exacerbating the pressure on the resources that power our economies. How should the private sector respond to the new risks and uncertainties of our Crowded Planet?

Frugal Value contests the notion that companies can rise to the great challenges of our time by adopting so-called 'sustainable business' practices. Instead, the acute ecological crisis requires an all-round rethink of what business does, and how it does it. This book explores what business responsibility looks like today, and how it could be put into practice through far-reaching changes to companies, ranging from new approaches to product design and business models to reconfiguration of operations and innovative ownership structures.

Frugal Value provides practitioners and scholars with the perspective and tools they need to design companies that help drive the socio-economic changes so urgently required for a sustainable and just world.

Table of Contents

Introduction:  The Failure of Sustainable Business

The Crowded Planet

Chapter 1: The Economy-in-Planet

Chapter 2: The Transition to the Economy-in-Planet

Part 1: Products and Services

Chapter 3: The Purpose and Design of Products

Chapter 4: Properties of Efficient and Sufficient Products

Part 2: Activities and Business Models

Chapter 5: Product Stewardship

Chapter 6: Product Access

Part 3: Operations and Supply Chains

Chapter 7: The Case for Proximity and Appropriate Scale

Chapter 8: The Case for Worker-Centeredness

Part 4: Ownership Structure, Financing and Legal Form

Chapter 9: The Problem with Shareholdership in the Legacy Economy

Chapter 10: Ownership by Workers, Beneficiaries and Investors

Part 5: The Purpose, Scope and Limits of Business

Chapter 11: Profit, Financial and Worthwhile

Chapter 12: Lifestyle Creation, Through Business or Otherwise

Conclusion: What Would it Take to Make Frugal Value Possible?


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Carina Millstone is a UK-based sustainability professional and campaigner. She founded The Orchard Project and currently serves as the Executive Director of Feedback Global.