Research Handbook of Finance and Sustainability
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Research Handbook of Finance and Sustainability

Edited by Sabri Boubaker, Douglas Cumming and Duc K. Nguyen

The severe consequences of the global financial crisis 2008-2009 and numerous accounting frauds and financial scandals over the last fifteen years have let to calls for more ethical and responsible actions in all economic activities including consumption, investing, governance and regulation. Despite the fact that ethics in business and corporate social responsibility rules have been adopted in various countries, more efforts have to be devoted to motivate and empower more actors to integrate ethical behavior and rules in making business and managerial decisions. The Research Handbook of Finance and Sustainability will provide the readers but particularly investors, managers, and policymakers with comprehensive coverage of the issues at the crossroads of finance, ethics and sustainable development as well as proposed solutions, while focusing on three different levels: corporations, investment funds, and financial markets.
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Chapter 22: Environment, economics and ethics: Towards an integrated model of ‘strong’ corporate sustainability

David A.L. Coldwell

Abstract

The chapter considers four main approaches to environmental resource management in relation to declining natural resources. These four approaches: resource exploitive, resource conservationist, resource preservationist and extreme preservationist are considered from anthropocentric and ecocentric points of view in terms of their ethical and economic cogency. Ethical aspects of declining environmental resources are analysed specifically in relation to intergenerational equity and the constant natural assets rule. Such ethical issues are considered in conjunction with their likely economic effects on corporate and environmental sustainability, by analysing different types of ecocentric and anthropocentric approaches to natural resource utilization. The chapter suggests that resource-exploitive approaches, such as those used by conventional cost–benefit analysis are likely to have serious negative long-term repercussions that are fundamentally inimical to environmental and ‘strong’ (intergenerational) corporate sustainability. The chapter builds an exploratory model of ‘strong’ corporate sustainability that incorporates ethical, environmental and economic rationale with intergenerational equity considerations. It is maintained that the exploratory model offers a more generalized, ‘fine-grained’ and durable approach to corporate sustainability

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