1963-2013 - 50 years of Research for Social Change

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Back | Programme Area: Markets, Business and Regulation (2000 - 2009)

The Greening of Business in Developing Countries: Rhetoric, Reality and Prospects



Edited volume by Peter Utting.

If sustainable development is to become a reality, then transnational corporations must take their environmental responsibilities seriously. In the industrialized countries, some positive steps have been taken. The rhetoric of corporate environmental responsibility is also extending to developing countries, but very little is known about the extent of concrete changes there in the environmental performance of big business. This book explores what is happening in the developing world. Three principal questions are focused upon:

  • To what extent is the greening of business a reality in the South?
  • If large corporations are pursuing their business interests in an environmentally responsible manner, does this contribute significantly to sustainable development?
  • What combination of measures is likely to work in scaling up and deepening environmental good practice by companies in developing countries?

The original research contained in this volume spans a number of major sectors: manufacturing, oil extraction, logging, and bioprospecting. Particular attention is paid to the experience of Brazil, Costa Rica, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore and South Africa. Corporate self-regulation, environmental reporting and voluntary codes of conduct are examined. In addition, there are detailed studies of the complementary approaches that are necessary, including the regulatory measures and incentives which governments can put in place, and the increasingly well publicized role which citizens' movements and NGOs are playing in holding business to account for its environmental impact.

This pioneering set of studies not only provides a rich seam of hard data on the environmental record of big business in South, but, even more importantly, it examines the strengths and weaknesses of a wide range of environmental policies and contexts, including the frequently contradictory pressures of the market place and public campaigns which impact on corporations in this critically important arena.
  • Publication and ordering details
  • Pub. Date: 1 Jun 2002
    Pub. Place: London
    ISBN: 1 84277 088 8
    Type: Hardback
    From: Zed Books
  • Pub. Date: 1 Jun 2002
    Pub. Place: London
    ISBN: 1 84277 089 6
    Type: Paperback
    From: Zed Books