Changing Course: A Global Business Perspective On Development And The Environment

In This Review

Changing Course: A Global Business Perspective On Development And The Environment

By Stephen Schmidheiny, with the Business Council for Sustainab
MIT Press, 1992
374 pp. $16.95
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To provide advice for the 1992 Rio de Janeiro conference on the environment, a Swiss industrialist mobilized businessmen from a variety of countries to try to find practical ways of achieving "sustainable development"-meeting current needs while leaving adequate resources for future generations. Their ambitious book ranges from general principles to 150 pages of examples in which individual companies explain what they have done. The recommendation to rely heavily on markets is not surprising, but the study makes plain that markets will only work well if prices reflect environmental costs, a difficult condition to achieve. Not everyone will believe that business can be expected to do as much as these people hope, but the illustration of what can be achieved by attention and improved efficiency within existing frameworks is impressive.