The Sustainability Frontier
Edited by Urs P. Jäger and Vijay Sathe
Introduction to Part III
It is important to point out that, although the sustainability models described in Part III use somewhat different terminology, they all share a key assumption whose intellectual lineage can be traced back to Peter Drucker’s notion from decades ago that every environmental and social problem is a business opportunity in disguise. In Chapter 10, Chris Laszlo proposes a ‘no trade-off ’ model for embedding sustainability into the company’s strategy for competitive advantage, contextualized for the unique challenges and opportunities in Latin America. Such a model is different from the corporate social responsibility (CSR) approach taken by many Latin American companies in which profits are earned only in compliance with social and environmental laws, with CSR efforts limited to charity or philanthropy. The recent article, ‘Creating shared value’ by Porter and Kramer (2011), shows how companies can increase their competitiveness and profitability by helping to solve environmental and social problems. In Chapter 11, Smith and Kramer explain why ‘shared value’ holds great promise for helping to bridge the increasing ideological divide in Latin America, and for providing persuasive answers to the questions being raised about the legitimacy of capitalism in Latin America. Chapter 12 shows how shared value clusters can be developed and nourished in Latin America to improve all three bottom lines.
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