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Will Big Business Destroy Our Planet?



Will Big Business Destroy Our Planet?

Peter Dauvergne

ISBN: 978-1-509-52401-3 May 2018 Polity 160 Pages


Walmart. Coca-Cola. BP. Toyota. The world economy runs on the profits of transnational corporations. Politicians need their backing. Non-profit organizations rely on their philanthropy. People look to their brands for meaning. And their power continues to rise.

Can these companies, as so many are now hoping, provide the solutions to end the mounting global environmental crisis? Absolutely, the CEOs of big business are telling us: the commitment to corporate social responsibility will ensure it happens voluntarily.

Peter Dauvergne challenges this claim, arguing instead that corporations are still doing far more to destroy than protect our planet. Trusting big business to lead sustainability is, he cautions, unwise — perhaps even catastrophic. Planetary sustainability will require reining in the power of big business, starting now.
  • Acknowledgments
  • 1 Total Destruction? No
  • 2 The Rising Power of Big Business
  • 3 The Business of CSR
  • 4 The Dark Side of Big Business
  • 5 The Consumption Problem
  • 6 Less Destruction
  • Further Reading
  • Notes
“Can the same corporations that have brought us violent overconsumption, endless growth, and inequality be trusted to fix those crises? Spoiler alert: not a chance. Rarely have the questions in this pithy book been framed so carefully, or answered so satisfyingly.”
Naomi Klein, author of No Is Not Enough and This Changes Everything.

"Peter Dauvergne's book is so reasonably argued it is hard to believe his conclusion is so radical. Put bluntly, without growth corporations will die, so they must keep selling us more stuff. It is in the system's DNA. But the organism is now devouring its host, and we need a mutation — fast."
Clive Hamilton, Charles Sturt University, Canberra

“[A] highly readable and caustic critique of ethical corporate behaviour ... a breath of fresh air.”
New Scientist