Planetary Boundaries: Ecological Foundations for Corporate Sustainability

Journal of Management Studies, Forthcoming

52 Pages Posted: 8 Sep 2012

See all articles by Gail Whiteman

Gail Whiteman

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Department of Business and Society Management

Brian Walker

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Paolo Perego

Free University of Bozen-Bolzano

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: June 2012

Abstract

Management studies on corporate sustainability practices have grown considerably. The field now has significant knowledge of sustainability issues that are firm and industry focused. However, complex ecological problems are increasing, not decreasing. In this paper, we argue that it is time for corporate sustainability scholars to reconsider the ecological and systemic foundations for sustainability, and to integrate our work more closely with the natural sciences. To address this, our paper introduces a new development in the natural sciences – the delineation of nine ‘Planetary Boundaries’ which govern life as we know it – including a call for more systemic research that measures the impact of companies on boundary processes that are at, or possibly beyond, three threshold points – climate change, the global nitrogen cycle (N), and rate of biodiversity loss – and closing in on others. We also discuss practical implications of the Planetary Boundaries framework for corporate sustainability, including governance and institutional challenges.

Keywords: ecology, management, Planetary Boundaries, sustainability

Suggested Citation

Whiteman, Gail and Walker, Brian and Perego, Paolo, Planetary Boundaries: Ecological Foundations for Corporate Sustainability (June 2012). Journal of Management Studies, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2143685

Gail Whiteman

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Department of Business and Society Management ( email )

RSM Erasmus University
3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands

Brian Walker

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Paolo Perego (Contact Author)

Free University of Bozen-Bolzano ( email )

Faculty of Economics & Management
Piazza dell'Universitá 1
Bozen-Bolzano, 39100
Italy

HOME PAGE: http://www.unibz.it/en/faculties/economics-management/academic-staff/person/38679-paolo-perego

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