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Landmarks for Sustainability

Events and Initiatives That Have Changed Our World

Landmarks for Sustainability is a high-impact, quick-reference guide to many of the most critical events and initiatives that have shaped our world, and the sustainable development agenda, over the past 20 years and more. These include high-profile historic events – such as the Exxon Valdez oil spill, the Rio Earth Summit, the anti-globalisation protests in Seattle and Genoa and the collapse of Enron – as well as more subtle but no less important developments, such as trends in fairtrade, ethical codes and sustainable investment.

By shining a spotlight on these and other landmark events and initiatives, the book draws into sharp relief the most significant social and environmental challenges of our time – from climate change and the state of the planet to poverty and corruption. Equally importantly, however, more than half of the book is dedicated to constructive global responses, such as the boom in clean technology, the role of the World Economic and World Social Forums, and the growth of ISO 14001 and SA8000 standards.

Each of the 20 chapters follows a similar easy-access full-colour design, with inspiring quotations, compelling photographs, a timeline of associated events, a narrative description of trends, and spotlight features of specific initiatives or events, including charts, factboxes and suggestions for further reading and websites. Also included is the world's most comprehensive sustainability timeline, listing and dating 190 key sustainability-related events and initiatives that occurred between 1919 and 2008.

All these features combine to make the book an essential and highly accessible resource for managers, teachers, students, government officials, consultants and activists alike. For the first time, these crucial change agents will have a single-source reference book, which is not only packed with useful facts and figures, but is also fascinating to look at and full of inspirational material.

This book – informative, authoritative, reliable – provides a penetrating glance directly into the central core of one of today's most exciting supernova-like phenomena: the brilliant illuminating flash of Sustainability, following the virtual and continuing collapse of conventional ways of conducting business and caring for the planet Earth ... A brief 8-page chapter neatly summarizes each global indicator, gives prominent examples, quotes authorities, provides graphic photos and statistical displays, and includes authoritative pro-and-con bibliographies and website addresses ... Each of these capsule accounts is a small treasure beautifully packed with solid information and human drama. The publisher – Greenleaf Publishing, Ltd. – deserves a big pat on the back for the book's artistry and compact design. One of the most useful features is a Landmarks Timeline that records the yearly and multiple appearances of the Sustainability Landmarks ... So, who can use this book? A marvelous handbook for executives. It slips compactly into student backpacks. A savior for faculty looking for quick examples to squeeze into a lecture. A delight for website geeks and bloggers international. A jewel for libraries. Read the full review

William C. Frederick

The book offers sustainability facts as an introduction to the subject, as well as being a reference book for practitioners. With an attractive look and feel, equipped with photographs, charts and fact boxes, the book is not a boring "study book", but an inspirational source. Read the full review

Karina Toonekurg, CSR International.

... it is a broad ranging, easy to read, review of the last twenty years. Everyone who's been involved in any of these areas of activism, innovation and development should have a copy. It's so easy to lose sight of how much has been going on across so many issues, and this book is a refreshing reminder – and a great resource to get a quick insight into developments across the whole field of sustainability. Read the full review

Osbert Lancaster, 15 July 2009.

This is a quick reference guide to all the most significant events and initiatives since 1919 that have influenced sustainability thinking and action. The book is split into to two sections, which have subsections below that. The flow starts with Global Challenges and Global Responses. Global Challenges includes subsections on Environment health and safety which includes State of the planet, Crisis events, Climate change and Health and safety. Global Responses is split into Leadership, Collaboration and Management with subsections covering such diverse topics as World Summits, Business associations, Social enterprise, Industry initiatives, codes and standards, corporate governance, Sustainability reporting, and stakeholder engagement. I went through the book quite carefully and I don't think any significant items have been left out. A really useful tool is the Landmarks Timeline which tracks events and initiatives from 1919 to the present.

Arend Hoogervorst (Editor), Eagle Bulletin, January 2010

Introduction
Polly Courtice, Director, Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership


A. Global challenges

I. Environment, health and safety
1. State of the planet
With spotlights on the WWF Living Planet Index and the UN Millennium Ecosystem Assessment

2. Crisis events
With spotlights on Exxon Valdez, Shell Brent Spar and Shell in Nigeria

3. Climate change
With spotlights on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol

4. Health and safety
With spotlights on OHSAS 18001, 'Big Pharma' and access to AIDS drugs

II. Society and economy
5. Globalisation and its critics
With spotlights on the protests in Seattle and Genoa, and Live 8 and Make Poverty History

6. Poverty and development
With spotlights on the Millennium Development Goals and the Bottom of the Pyramid (BOP) model

7. Human rights
With spotlights on Nike and the UN Norms on Business and Human Rights

8. Corruption and transparency
With spotlights on Transparency International's indexes and the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative


B. Global responses

III. Leadership
9. World summits
With spotlights on the Rio Earth Summit and the Johannesburg World Summit

10. Business associations
With spotlights on the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and the UN Global Compact

11. Leadership initiatives
With spotlights on the World Economic Forum and the World Social Forum

12. Social enterprise
With spotlights on Grameen Bank and the Schwab and Skoll Foundations

IV. Collaboration
13. Industry initiatives
With spotlights on Responsible Care and the Forest Stewardship Council

14. Financial initiatives
With spotlights on the UNEP Finance Initiative and the Equator Principles

15. Sustainable investment
With spotlights on sustainability indexes and clean-tech investment

16. Sustainable consumerism
With spotlights on eco-labelling and fairtrade

V. Management
17. Codes and standards
With spotlights on ISO 14001 and SA8000

18. Corporate governance
With spotlights on Enron's collapse and the King Report on Corporate Governance

19. Sustainability reporting
With spotlights on the Global Reporting Initiative and the Carbon Disclosure Project

20. Stakeholder engagement
With spotlights on McDonald's (McLibel and Super Size Me) and AccountAbility (AA1000 and Responsible Competitiveness Index

Conclusion
Mike Peirce, Deputy Director, Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership

Landmarks timeline

WAYNE VISSER is Founder and CEO of the thinktank CSR International, as well as Senior Associate of the University of Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership.

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