Table of Contents

A Handbook of Globalisation and Environmental Policy, Second Edition

A Handbook of Globalisation and Environmental Policy, Second Edition

National Government Interventions in a Global Arena

Elgar original reference

Edited by Frank Wijen, Kees Zoeteman, Jan Pieters and Paul van Seters

In the current era of globalisation, national governments are increasingly exposed to international influences that present new constraints and opportunities for domestic environmental policies. This comprehensive, revised Handbook pushes the frontiers of theoretical and empirical knowledge, and provides a state-of-the-art examination of the multifaceted effects of globalisation on environmental governance.

Chapter 22: Business Drivers of Sustainable Development: The Role and Influence of the WBCSD, a Global Business Network

Björn Stigson and Margaret Flaherty

Subjects: business and management, management and sustainability, environment, environmental law, environmental management, environmental sociology, law - academic, environmental law, politics and public policy, public policy


Björn Stigson and Margaret Flaherty SUMMARY This chapter discusses how and when business can best contribute to sustainable development, with an emphasis on the role of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). The origin and evolution of the WBCSD are described. Good reasons for conducting sustainable business are highlighted, including securing human and material resources, enhancing operational efficiency and effectiveness, and creating market value and business opportunities. Then, the work programme of the WBCSD is explained, including its emphasis on the business role, development, energy and climate, and ecosystems. The WBCSD’s activities aim at changing mindsets, promoting systems and solutions thinking, developing policies, building capacity, and reducing the environmental impact of companies. However, there are roadblocks on the sustainable development path, in particular, profitability imperatives, the lack of adequate regulation, market imperfections, and capacity problems of governments. To meet the future sustainability challenge, government should eliminate regulative flaws, while business should learn to change, engage in partnerships, inform consumers, innovate, and make markets work for all. INTRODUCTION Imagine the following situation: a large multinational corporation is in the process of building operations in a developing country with low environmental standards, and needs to decide to what extent it will invest in measures that reduce its impact on the local environment. Any investment 641 M2782 - WIJEN TEXT.indd 641 16/11/2011 11:30 642 A Handbook of Globalisation and Environmental Policy, Second Edition going above and beyond compliance with local legislation would, from a legal point of view, be...

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