Note: this article is part of The Transatlantic Debate Blog series, which forms a conversation between Dr. Katrin Muff and Dr. Kathy Miller Perkins on business sustainability. Read the previous post here.
On September 18, 2015 the Volkswagen Group received a notice of violation from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of the United States for intentionally programming their diesel engines to activate emissions controls only during laboratory testing. According to the New York Times, this “diesel deception” could cause hundreds of deaths in the USA alone, due to the tons of pollutants released into the atmosphere. And an October 28th headline in the New York Times proclaimed that “Volkswagen, hit by Emissions Scandal, Posts its First Loss in Years.” Continue reading →
Large systems change is arguably needed if the world is to transition from its current unsustainable business-as-usual trajectory toward a socio-political-economic system that creates a sustainable enterprise economy. As the special issue of the Journal of Corporate Citizenship (Issue 58) on Large Systems Change makes clear, such transitions are uncertain and difficult. Further, the collapse of numerous previous human civilizations in the past tells us that system changes are not always in the direction of sustainability. The question we wanted to raise with the special issue is how can we, as participants in the system, begin to bring about change in the direction of sustainability rather than its opposite?
“Public division about climate change rooted in conflicting socio-political identities”
As I was writing the blog this month, I found myself distracted by news headlines that seemed to beg for my attention. I read the stories of riots in Baltimore over the death while in police custody of, a young black man, Freddie Gray. Eyewitness accounts differed dramatically on the “facts” of what transpired. And each witness seemed to have great confidence in the details as he or she described them.
Moreover, I ran across an article on climate change that stated, “U.S. believers and skeptics have distinct social identities, beliefs and emotional reactions that systematically predict their support for action to advance their respective positions.” The authors argued that communication and education are unlikely to resolve the divide since the opinions are rooted in emotion. They stated, “Interventions that increase angry opposition to action on climate change are especially problematic.”
Full archive available free online for a fortnight
“The Journal of Corporate Citizenship provides a forum for the most crucial and innovative issues of corporate citizenship to be discussed and publishes sound research and scholarship, as well as providing a space for forward-thinking debates and insights in the ‘Turning Points’ section.
– Jonas Haertle, Head, PRME Secretariat
We are delighted to announce that all back issues of The Journal of Corporate Citizenship have been digitised and are now available online in the Sustainable Organization Library (SOL).To coincide with the publication of the 51st issue of JCC, we are making all issues freely available to access for the next two weeks.Using the login details below every issue of JCC will be free to access on the Sustainable Organization Library platform, until 24th October.