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“Sustainability: A New Supernova”

Landmarks for Sustainability: Events and Initiatives That Have Changed Our World
(Sheffield, UK: Greenleaf, 2009)
By Wayne Visser

A review by William C. Frederick, October 2009.

supernova: an explosive brightening of a star where
the energy radiated by it increases by a factor of 1010,
taking several years to fade and dominating the whole
galaxy in which it lies. It occurs when a star has burnt
up all its available nuclear fuel and the core collapses
catastrophically. — Oxford Dictionary of Science

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.
Author Wayne Visser—Making a Difference and The A to Z of Corporate Social
Responsibility [reviewed elsewhere on this website]; founder and CEO of CSR International—
is speaking on behalf of the University of Cambridge Programme for Sustainability
Leadership, whose research program he previously directed. The Cambridge program works
with leaders in business, government, and civil society to heighten awareness of global
transformational change.

Here is what you will find in Landmarks for Sustainability: Twenty prominent
indicators of the sustainability movement classified broadly as Global Challenges and Global
Responses. Two or more examples are given for each Landmark, e.g., WWF Living Planet
Index, Kyoto Protocol, Exxon Valdez, UN Global Compact, Grameen Bank, BOP, ISO 14001,
etc.

THE GLOBAL CHALLENGES
• State of the planet
• Crisis events
• Climate change
• Health and safety
• Globalization and its critics
• Poverty and development
• Human rights
• Corruption and transparency

THE GLOBAL RESPONSES
• World summits
• Business associations
• Leadership initiatives
• Social enterprise
• Industry initiatives
• Financial initiatives
• Sustainable investment
• Sustainable consumerism
• Codes and standards
• Corporate governance
• Sustainability reporting
• Stakeholder engagement

Klick here to read the whole book review.