“A surprising discovery of CSR undertakings in the developing world” – Review

"Our global economy is so inefficient that less than 1% of all the resources we extract are actually used in products" - Wayne Visser

Wayne Visser

This book is a journey of two kinds. First, it is an autobiography of Dr. Wayne Visser, one of the world’s top 100 thought leaders in Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility, and a Top 100 Global Sustainability Leader. Second, the book presents the recent evolution of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) or – as Dr. Visser has coined the term – Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility.

The Quest for Sustainable Business takes the reader on a voyage from the African continent to Europe, then to Asia Pacific and the Americas with the final destination the United Kingdom. Incidentally, this route reflects the life journey of the author, who was born in Zimbabwe and spent his childhood in South Africa, and who now lives in London.

With the CSR concept much promulgated in Western society, the book can be a surprising discovery of CSR undertakings in the developing world. For example, the book highlights a number of market and government initiatives in Kenya, Nigeria, China and India. Nevertheless, it is somewhat disappointing that the author does not elaborate on the state of CSR in Russia – a country with world’s largest energy resources and forest reserves.

The book can be valuable to anyone who is interested in the diverse and contested concept of CSR and its development in different parts of the world. As the reader discovers along the journey, drivers for CSR range from economic, political, social, cultural and even geographical characteristics. The latter becomes apparent when comparing the Netherlands and Australia. How does this happen? Perhaps it would be better to let the reader find out what a difference can be made by the immediate need for a remedy and how this can transform the identity of a nation.

Review by Karina Yadav, CSR International. You can view the original here.

Dr Wayne Visser is the founder and director of the think-tank CSR International. He is Senior Associate at the University of Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership as well as a Professor of Sustainability at Birmingham Graduate School and Adjunct Professor in CSR at the La Trobe Graduate School of Management.

He is the author of The Quest for Sustainable Business, the fruit of his 2010 “CSR world tour” to share best practice on sustainability and responsibility. The path begins in Africa and winds its way through Asia, North America, Europe, Australasia and Latin America. The author shares what he has learned in encounters with mega-corporations and small farmers, and conversations with CEOs and social entrepreneurs. The Quest for Sustainable Business is available direct from Greenleaf Publishing. Buy online and receive a 10% discount. Just use code QUEST321 at the checkout.

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