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Sustainability 2012, 4(4), 586-603; doi:10.3390/su4040586
Article

Sustainable Business: Are We Heading in the Right Direction?

Received: 21 February 2012; in revised form: 19 March 2012 / Accepted: 27 March 2012 / Published: 11 April 2012
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Abstract: This paper questions why, despite the sustainable development concept having been prominent at an international level for well over 20 years, there is little to show by way of a transition to a sustainable world. Instead, in many ways, the situation is deteriorating. The paper critiques the mainstream sustainable development approach as advocated by business, and as is prominent in the political sphere, to consider if this is itself a key problem. The paper concludes that it is. Rather than helping society achieve needed change, this approach can create a false sense of progress that acts as a barrier to the more decisive action that is necessary to address the underlying drivers of humanity's unsustainable behaviours. Further, the paper proposes that the very act of pursuing mainstream sustainable development makes a sustainable world harder to achieve. A way forward for the business sector is proposed by it embracing a more transformational sustainable world approach in both its internal activities and in its advocacy in the broader public and political space.
Keywords: sustainable world; sustainable development; reformist; transformational; ecological footprint; I = PAT sustainable world; sustainable development; reformist; transformational; ecological footprint; I = PAT
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Clifton, D. Sustainable Business: Are We Heading in the Right Direction? Sustainability 2012, 4, 586-603.

AMA Style

Clifton D. Sustainable Business: Are We Heading in the Right Direction? Sustainability. 2012; 4(4):586-603.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Clifton, Don. 2012. "Sustainable Business: Are We Heading in the Right Direction?" Sustainability 4, no. 4: 586-603.


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