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Big Business, Big Responsibilities: From Villains to Visionaries: How Companies are Tackling the World's Greatest Challenges

ISBN-13: 978-0230243958
ISBN-10: 9780230243958
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Editorial Reviews


"Major global businesses not only create millions of jobs and great products for consumers, but are also beginning to play a leading role in tackling some of the biggest challenges of our time, from resolving water scarcity to lifting people out of poverty. This book explains in dynamic fashion why taking this approach is fast becoming ‘business as usual’ for some of the world’s largest companies, and provides an inside track on why those who take this approach are more likely to win in the marketplace." -- Graham Mackay, Chief Executive, SABMiller plc

"This is a book that many of us have been waiting for! Written by three ‘insiders,’ it describes how social pressures are influencing corporate behaviour. It will change, for the better, both the tone and substance of debates over corporate social responsibility." -- Ethan B. Kapstein, INSEAD Chair in Political Economy, INSEAD Business School, France 

"A new generation of leaders give the inside story on how to become a sustainability-responsible leader. Indispensable." -- Sara Parkin, Founder Director, Forum for the Future 

"This unusual book highlights and humanizes the challenges facing those who wish to effect social progress from within a system rather than outside of it.  It provides a useful and timely map through the distrust and conflict that can too easily arise where capitalism and activism meet." -- Jonathan Zittrain, Professor of Law, Harvard Law School; Author, The Future of the Internet–And How to Stop It 

"Dunstan Hope, Andy Wales and Matthew Gorman have written a book that captures beautifully the realistic idealism that is at the heart of the modern sustainability movement. Their book is a great guide to the ways that companies are making a difference in the world while also enhancing their competitiveness." -- Aron Cramer, President and CEO, Business for Social Responsibility 

"The role of business in helping establish a more sustainable economy is much discussed these days – especially by NGOs and academics. We don’t often hear from the practitioners: those charged with front-line responsibility for mainstreaming sustainability across their respective companies. Calling on their 30 years of combined experience, the authors of Big Business, Big Responsibilities eloquently fill that gap, with a wealth of insights and good practice examples from companies in many different sectors." -- Jonathon Porritt, author of Capitalism as if the World Matters  

"Big Business, Big Responsibilities makes a valuable contribution to both the debate and practice of responsible corporate leadership in an increasingly complex global operating environment. Written by three highly-regarded practitioners who are working at heart of the corporate sustainability agenda, the book provides a succinct overview of global challenges and operational barriers to change… Optimistic, yet grounded in the day-to-day realities of running a business, the authors offer a leadership agenda for the 21st Century Corporation and for the consumers, regulators, activists, executives, and above all employees, who are helping to drive this agenda forward." -- Jane Nelson, Director, Corporate Responsibility Initiative, Harvard Kennedy School

"I have believed for some time that big business need not be the sustainability villain, and that big business can bring about big outcomes. The examples in this book paint an encouraging picture of how far we have come. The book’s themes of shared responsibilities, collaboration, trust, regulation and opportunity-not-risk are important messages for the future." -- Janis Kong OBE, non-executive director Kingfisher plc and Portmeirion Holdings, board member of Visit Britain. 

"This engaging book shows you how, and why, many large companies are leading the way on sustainability. Wales, Gorman and Hope have produced an entertaining and informative read that challenges both business and NGOs to raise their game on partnerships and collaboration." -- Toby Webb, Founder and Managing Director, Ethical Corporation  

"The narrative of the Global Network Initiative – how three information technology companies came together with NGOs and other stakeholders to forge protections for human rights – is illustrative of the broader themes this book highlights:  addressing corporate citizenship questions remains complex and unfinished work, but the way business approaches these questions is changing in important ways." -- Chuck Cosson, Senior Policy Counsel, Microsoft

About the Author

ANDY WALES is Director of Sustainable Development at SABMiller, a major global brewer, and one of the world's experts on responsible water management. He sits on the boards of the United Nations CEO Water Mandate, the World Economic Forum Water Programme and the McKinsey / International Finance Corporation global water investment project. He is also a leading voice on the role of business in eliminating poverty and has led a major expansion of sourcing from smallholder farmers across Africa, India and Latin America. He was recently selected as a 2009 Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. 

MATTHEW GORMAN is Director of Corporate Responsibility & Environment at BAA Ltd, the world's leading airport company, and one of the world's experts on transport and climate change. He leads the company-wide team that develops and delivers BAA's sustainable development strategy - tackling the company's environmental impacts and promoting local economic opportunities around airports. He works closely with government, business and NGO stakeholders in Europe and the UK and represents BAA on a number of external groups, including the Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change and the International Civil Aviation Organisation's taskforce on carbon trading. He is deputy chair of 'Sustainable Aviation' - the UK aviation industry's sustainable development strategy, 

DUNSTAN HOPE is a Managing Director at Business for Social Responsibility, a global non-profit organization working with a network of over 250 member companies to develop sustainable business strategies through advice, research and cross-sector collaboration. He is one of the world's experts on corporate responsibility in the communications and technology industry and leads a global practice advising companies in the US, Europe and Asia on issues such as human rights, corporate governance and accountability. Dunstan facilitated the creation of the Global Network Initiative, which brought together the world's leading internet companies, human rights groups and academic experts to address issues of privacy and freedom of expression. He also led the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition to raise conditions in the electronics industry supply chain. Prior to joining BSR in 2004 Dunstan spent five years in British Telecommunications' corporate responsibility team, focused on reporting, public affairs and investor relations.

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More About the Author

ANDY WALES is Global Head of Sustainable Development for SABMiller, one of the world's largest brewers. He is a board member of a number of key global water initiatives, and also leads a strategy encouraging local enterprise development across Africa, Asia and Latin America.

He was recognized as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2009 and in 2010 was appointed a London Sustainable Development Commissioner.

For the latest blogs and opinions from Andy Wales and his co-authors visit

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Big Business, Big Responsibilities: From Villains to Visionaries: How Companies are Tackling the World's Greatest Challenges
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