This article contributes to knowledge of how one category of business organization, very large, British-based, natural resource extraction corporations, has begun to manage its operations for sustainability. The object of study is a large volume of texts that make representations of the managing-for-sustainability practices of these multinational corporations (MNCs). The macro-level textual analysis identifies patterns in the wording of the representations of practice. Hajer’s understanding of discourse, in which ideas are contextualized within social processes of practice, provides the theoretical approach for discourse analysis that gives an insight into how they understand and practice sustainability. Through this large-scale discourse analysis, illustrated in the article with specific textual examples, one can see that these natural resource MNCs are developing a vocabulary and a “grammar” which enables them to manage natural spaces in the same way that they are able to manage their own far-flung business operations. They make simplified representations of the much more complex natural landscapes in which their operations are sited and these models of nature can then be incorporated into the corporations’ operational management processes. Their journey towards sustainability delivers, in practice, the management of nature as business continues as usual.
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