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This is the first of a two-part series on the subject of sustainability, which has begun to intrigue business leaders today.
Sustainability is a large, rapidly growing, critical, complex and contested topic. This is because it responds to growing perceptions that the way we are producing and consuming is unsustainable - meaning things cannot go on as they are. Perceptions of the drivers of unsustainability are broadly environmental, social and ethical. These give rise to claims about major systemic fault lines in the way industry, trade and society is structured globally.
The sense of urgency for change has been fuelled by politicians accepting scientific evidence of man-made climate change providing a massive threat to humanity, equal or greater than the threat posed by terrorism. The highly visual and emotional drama of unfolding 'climate chaos' and 'eco-doom' in reports of dangers to polar regions, glaciers, fish stocks and other species has become a daily feature of media news and entertainment. But these stories co-exist with our over-riding commitment to business growth, GDP as a measure of progress and a consumerist culture.
CONFUSION, DENIAL OR DIALOGUE …