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
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
... 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
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.
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
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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