New book features the Earth Charter

Earth Charter International is happy to announce the publication of a new book Sustainable Economy: Corporate, Social and Environmental Responsibility (2010) edited by Raymond W Y Kao (published by World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd). This book brings together an impressive list of international experts, who contribute to the discussion on feasible solutions towards a sustainable future.

Sustainable Economy focuses on the relation between corporate social responsibility and long-term sustainability of an economy and that organizations should not be self-interest driven, but also strive for a common good. The book advocates that corporate decision-makers should prioritize attaining trust of stakeholders, rather than focusing on short-term benefits. It also puts emphasis on the importance of rewarding the contribution and commitment by participants of an organization.

The book has a chapter that reflects on key Earth Charter principles by Mirian Vilela (Chapter 7: Building a sustainable future for ourselves and our common home, p. 237-264). In this chapter the author shares the view of the Earth as our common home which has been treated “with some level of detachment, without clearly seeing that we are dependent on it and interdependent with its living systems”. Vilela raises the point that People as citizens of the Earth, rather than of a single state, should embrace the values of compassion, shared responsibility, equity and justice instead of selfishness and greed that dominate our relations. These issues are discussed in the first part of the chapter “Incorporating ethical reflections in our daily lives and decisions”.

In the second part “Integrated approach to decision making and planning” the author discusses the interconnectedness of all systems, pointing out that decision-making should be guided by long-term perspectives. The current global challenges are mainly caused by short-term, “myopic” focuses and the lack of holistic understanding of the world. The system of compartmentalization of institutions, governments, education, etc. does not accord with the natural interconnectedness of all living systems.

The third part “Participatory governance as a way to ensure an integrated approach to decisions” advocates for new global governance based on the inclusive participation in the development and implementation of policies. It is argued here that the Earth Charter serves as a common framework for all three key avenues presented in this chapter.

This publication will be of interest to academicians, organizational participants, entrepreneurs and general public.