Sustainable Business: Key Issues (Paperback) book cover

Sustainable Business

Key Issues

By Helen Kopnina, John Blewitt

© 2015 – Routledge

272 pages | 42 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9780415739528
pub: 2014-08-19
Hardback: 9780415739504
pub: 2014-08-22
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315816586
pub: 2014-09-15
from $60.95

FREE Standard Shipping!
Look Inside e–Inspection Copy


Sustainable Business: Key Issues is the first comprehensive introductory-level textbook to address the interface between environmental challenges and business solutions to provide an overview of the basic concepts of sustainability, sustainable business, and business ethics. The book introduces students to the background and key issues of sustainability and suggests ways in which these concepts can be applied in business practice. Though the book takes a business perspective, it is interdisciplinary in its nature and draws on knowledge from socio-economic, political, and environmental studies, thereby providing a practical and critical understanding of sustainability in the changing paradigm of global business. It goes beyond the conventional theories of sustainability and addresses critical issues concerned with population, consumption and economic growth. It discusses realistic ways forward, in particular the Circular Economy and Cradle to Cradle frameworks.

The book is both a theoretical and practical study guide for undergraduate and postgraduate international students of broad areas of sustainability, teaching ways to recognize opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurship at the intersection of environmental, economic, ethical, and social systems. It takes a strategic approach in applying the power of business methods and policy to address issues of global importance such as climate change, poverty, ecosystem degradation and human rights.

This textbook is essential reading for students of business, management and sustainability courses. It is written in an engaging and accessible style, with each chapter including case studies, discussion questions, end of chapter summaries and suggestions for further reading.


"Key Issues is a solid introductory volume that allows students not only to get familiar with the issues of (un)sustainability in corporate contexts, but learn to recognize global obstacles to sustainability, as well as equip students to find viable solutions from the business perspective. The importance of Cradle to Cradle and circular economy framework is outlined as particularly relevant to strategic management of sustainability." –Frans Meijers, The Hague University of Applied Sciences, the Netherlands

"This book represents a welcome addition to the burgeoning literature on sustainability and business by offering a refreshingly different perspective from many mainline works in the field. The authors couple an insightful critique of current conventional viewpoints on sustainability with a conceptual menu of reasoned alternatives to move our global economic system closer to true sustainability."Peter N. Nemetz, University of British Columbia, Canada

"This book is a much needed accessible text that addresses the most challenging issues of our age in a business context. In taking an interdisciplinary approach and tackling such a range of subjects and contemporary issues, the book provides both students and business professionals with, not only an understanding of what sustainable business really means, but outlines practical application of strategies to inspire action."Carole Parkes, Aston University, UK and Chair of UK & Ireland Chapter of the UN backed Principles of Responsible Management Education (PRME)

"This book is bound to stimulate the reader's interest in the complex relationship between the business and sustainability. With its comprehensive approach, covering a broad range and variety of issues, and a critical discussion of traditional approaches and an offer of alternatives views, it is certain not only to increase the readers' awareness of the business role in sustainability but also to engage them in thinking about effective solutions for sustainable business practices."–Damir Urem, The Hague University of Applied Sciences, the Netherlands

"‘Sustainable Business’ is an excellent summary of sustainability issues that (unlike other books) actually defines terms for the reader. It also doesn’t hide from key issues such as overpopulation, overconsumption and ethics. It proposes real solutions for a sustainable future. Highly recommended." Haydn Washington, Institute of Environmental Studies, UNSW, author of ‘Demystifying Sustainability’

Table of Contents

Foreword Part 1: Concepts, tools and initiatives 1. Introduction: Key Concepts 2. Environmental Challenges 3. Social and Economic Challenges Part 2: Globalization, Development and Business 4. Sustainability and Globalization 5. Sustainable Development 6. Strategic Change for Sustainability 7. Business Ethics Part 3: Critical Evaluation 8. Creating Sustainable Business Practice 9. Key Challenges for making Sustainability a Reality Part 4: Solutions 10. HRM, Green Jobs and a Greener Economy 11. New Strategic Thinking

About the Authors


John Blewitt

Birmingham, West Midlands, United Kingdom

Learn more about John Blewitt >>


Helen Kopnina is based at The Hague University of Applied Science, the Netherlands, as a coordinator of the Sustainable Business program and researcher of environmental education. Her books include Environmental Anthropology Today (Routledge 2011) and Environmental Anthropology: Future Directions (Routledge 2013).

John Blewitt is Co-Director of the MSc Social Responsibility and Sustainability at Aston Business School, Aston University, UK. His books include The Ecology of Learning (Earthscan-Routledge 2006), Searching for Resilience in Sustainable Development (Earthscan-Routledge 2013), the four volume major work, Sustainable Development (Routledge 2013), and Understanding Sustainable Development (second edition: Earthscan-Routledge 2014).

About the Series

Key Issues in Environment and Sustainability

This series provides comprehensive, original and accessible texts on the core topics in environment and sustainability. The texts take an interdisciplinary and international approach to the key issues in this field.

Please get in touch with Rebecca Brennan (, Annabelle Harris ( or Tim Hardwick ( if you would like to submit a proposal.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Sustainable Development