Hijacking Environmentalism exposes the lack of commitment from business and industry to the challenge of sustainable development. Richard Welford demonstrates how modern business has ignored-even usurped-the wider ecological, ethical and social aspects of sustainable development. Industry has, in effect, hijacked the more radical environmental debate by taking it out of its traditional discourse, and placing it in a liberal-productivist frame of reference.
Welford examines the ways in which business executives have reconstructed the environmental agenda to pander to their own purposes. He then shows how businesses continue to operate outside the ecological carrying capacity of the environment, and that there remain strong underlying tensions involving conflicts between sustainable development and international trade. He shows how too much emphasis on hierarchical organizational structures stifle participation inside the organization.
The final part of the book examines the way forward for the more sustainable business. It presents new models of the sustainable organization which place greater emphasis on issues such as equity and ethics. It seeks an ecological awakening amongst business leaders and concludes with a call for more critical research on business activities, abandoning both the restrictive positivist and traditional interpretive paradigms of analysis.
The contributions in this book are best read as a set of related essays and each chapter can easily be read and understood in isolation. Hijacking Environmentalism is recommended for business leaders, management students and activists with environmental NGOs.
Richard Welford is Professor of Corporate Environmental Management and Director of the Centre for Corporate Environmental Management at the Huddersfield University Business School. He is also Professor of Sustainable Management at the Norwegian School of Management and a Director of ERP Environment. He is co-editor of The Earthscan Reader in Business and the Environment (1996), editor of Corporate Environmental Management 1 (1996), Corporate Environmental Management 2 (1997), and editor of the journal, Business Strategy and the Environment.