Welcome to The Sustainable Business Edit. This is the blog that trawls through the internet to bring you the latest news stories, academic articles, books and generally useful information on the sustainable development-business relationship.

The Home page displays the latest posts, with a monthly archive available on the far right. To see all posts relating to a particular category, use the Menu buttons e.g Environment, Policy.

About “sustainable business”

It’s important to note the emphasis here on “sustainable” rather than “business”. “Sustainable business” in the context of this blog refers to organisations operating within natural limits while meeting societal needs, not, as is common in business and in much of the academic literature, simply engaging with social and environmental issues to build long-term competitive advantage.

Consequently, the stories and references highlighted on this blog are largely those which encourage us to question the prevailing “wisdom” on the nature-society-business relationship. The approach taken, in academic terms, is every so slightly “critical”, combined with a streak of pragmatism and a personal sense of optimism.

The view of the sustainable development-business relationship expressed here has been informed by the work of, among others, Schumacher (1973), Pirages and Ehrlich (1974), UNWCED (1987), Daly and Cobb (1992), Gladwin et al (1995), Daly (1996), Hawken et al (1999), Porritt (2005), Dryzek (2005) and Gray (2010) (see below for references). Any comments on the blog or suggestions for improvement are more than welcome.

About the author: I have just completed my PhD in sustainable development and business at the School of Management, University of St Andrews, Scotland. In October 2015 I commenced an Irish Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Quinn School of Business, University College Dublin on the topic of “Overcoming Barriers to Sustainable Enterprise: an Empirical Exploration of the Possibilities of Corporate Sustainability”.

Aideen O’Dochartaigh, PhD                                                                                                                 2015


Daly, H.E. (1996) Beyond Growth, Boston:Beacon Press

Daly, H.E. and Cobb, J.B. Jr. (1990) For the Common Good: Redirecting the economy towards the community, the environment and a sustainable future, London:Greenprint

Dryzek, J. S. (2005) The politics of the earth: Environmental discourses 2nd Edition, Oxford:Oxford University Press

Gladwin, T. N., Kennelly, J. J., & Krause, T.S. (1995) “Shifting paradigms for sustainable development: Implications for management theory and research” Academy of Management Review, 20(4):874–907

Gray, R. H. (2010) “Is accounting for sustainability actually accounting for sustainability. . .and how would we know? An exploration of narratives of organisations and the planet” Accounting, Organizations and Society, 35(1):47-62

Hawken, P., Lovins, A. B., & Lovins, L. H. (1999) Natural capitalism: The next industrial revolution, London: Earthscan

Pirages, D. and Ehrlich, P.R. (1974) Ark II: Social Responses to Environmental Imperatives, New York:Viking

Porritt, J. (2005). Capitalism: as if the world matters, London:Earthscan

Schumacher, E. F. (1973). Small is beautiful, London:Abacus

UNWCED, United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development (1987) Our Common Future (The Brundtland Report), Oxford:Oxford University Press

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