Big Business, Big Responsibilities: From Villains to Visionaries: How Companies are Tackling the…

Hardcover | July 15, 2010

byAndy Wales, Matthew Gorman, Dunstan Hope

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Big business is often painted as the villain when it comes to the environment or social wellbeing. There is certainly good evidence of what some businesses have done wrong in the past. But times are changing. Leading businesses are often now the visionaries: leaders in the fight against climate change, protectors of human rights and supporters of international development.

Big Business, Big Responsibilities shares the inside track on why some of the world’s best known brands are doing this not as philanthropy but as a core part of business strategy: protecting the environmental systems they depend on, building consumer trust and creating new markets to ensure long term success.

This book describes the surprising speed with which business is recognizing that it will thrive best in societies that succeed and identifies the major challenges that still need to be overcome for business to make its full contribution.

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From the Publisher

Big business is often painted as the villain when it comes to the environment or social wellbeing. There is certainly good evidence of what some businesses have done wrong in the past. But times are changing. Leading businesses are often now the visionaries: leaders in the fight against climate change, protectors of human rights and su...

ANDY WALES is Director of Sustainable Development at SABMiller, a major global brewer, and one of the world's experts on responsible water management. He sits on the boards of the United Nations CEO Water Mandate, the World Economic Forum Water Programme and the McKinsey / International Finance Corporation global water investment proj...
Format:HardcoverDimensions:256 pages, 9.51 × 6.43 × 0.71 inPublished:July 15, 2010Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230243959

ISBN - 13:9780230243958


Extra Content

Table of Contents

A challenging world with some unexpected heroes
The scale of the challenge for change
Changing course: how big business began to lead
The new collaboration zone
Beware the power of the naysayers
Smarter products and better protected consumers
Looking beyond the label
New responsibilities in the networked age
Complexity, innovation and regulation
Who is driving change?
The government of big business
Everyday champions
Conclusion -The view from here – successful companies in a sustainable world

Editorial Reviews

"Major global businesses not only create millions of jobs and great products for consumers, but are also beginning to play a leading role in tackling some of the biggest challenges of our time, from resolving water scarcity to lifting people out of poverty. This book explains in dynamic fashion why taking this approach is fast becoming ‘business as usual’ for some of the world’s largest companies, and provides an inside track on why those who take this approach are more likely to win in the marketplace." -- Graham Mackay, Chief Executive, SABMiller plc"This is a book that many of us have been waiting for! Written by three ‘insiders,’ it describes how social pressures are influencing corporate behaviour. It will change, for the better, both the tone and substance of debates over corporate social responsibility." -- Ethan B. Kapstein, INSEAD Chair in Political Economy, INSEAD Business School, France "A new generation of leaders give the inside story on how to become a sustainability-responsible leader. Indispensable." -- Sara Parkin, Founder Director, Forum for the Future "This unusual book highlights and humanizes the challenges facing those who wish to effect social progress from within a system rather than outside of it.  It provides a useful and timely map through the distrust and conflict that can too easily arise where capitalism and activism meet." -- Jonathan Zittrain, Professor of Law, Harvard Law School; Author, The Future of the Internet–And How to Stop It "Dunstan Hope, Andy Wales and Matthew Gorman have written a book that captures beautifully the realistic idealism that is at the heart of the modern sustainability movement. Their book is a great guide to the ways that companies are making a difference in the world while also enhancing their competitiveness." -- Aron Cramer, President and CEO, Business for Social Responsibility "The role of business in helping establish a more sustainable economy is much discussed these days – especially by NGOs and academics. We don’t often hear from the practitioners: those charged with front-line responsibility for mainstreaming sustainability across their respective companies. Calling on their 30 years of combined experience, the authors of Big Business, Big Responsibilities eloquently fill that gap, with a wealth of insights and good practice examples from companies in many different sectors." -- Jonathon Porritt, author of Capitalism as if the World Matters  "Big Business, Big Responsibilities makes a valuable contribution to both the debate and practice of responsible corporate leadership in an increasingly complex global operating environment. Written by three highly-regarded practitioners who are working at heart of the corporate sustainability agenda, the book provides a succinct overview of global challenges and operational barriers to change… Optimistic, yet grounded in the day-to-day realities of running a business, the authors offer a leadership agenda for the 21st Century Corporation and for the consumers, regulators, activists, executives, and above all employees, who are helping to drive this agenda forward." -- Jane Nelson, Director, Corporate Responsibility Initiative, Harvard Kennedy School"I have believed for some time that big business need not be the sustainability villain, and that big business can bring about big outcomes. The examples in this book paint an encouraging picture of how far we have come. The book’s themes of shared responsibilities, collaboration, trust, regulation and opportunity-not-risk are important messages for the future." -- Janis Kong OBE, non-executive director Kingfisher plc and Portmeirion Holdings, board member of Visit Britain. "This engaging book shows you how, and why, many large companies are leading the way on sustainability. Wales, Gorman and Hope have produced an entertaining and informative read that challenges both business and NGOs to raise their game on partnerships and collaboration." -- Toby Webb, Founder and Managing Director, Ethical Corporation  "The narrative of the Global Network Initiative – how three information technology companies came together with NGOs and other stakeholders to forge protections for human rights – is illustrative of the broader themes this book highlights:  addressing corporate citizenship questions remains complex and unfinished work, but the way business approaches these questions is changing in important ways." -- Chuck Cosson, Senior Policy Counsel, Microsoft