Sustainability and Business

A Narrative and Annotated Bibliography

Erwin A.J. Dreessen, Ph.D.

Go to this directory to download the documents.

A printed version (bound and tabbed) is available on request, at cost ($30 plus postage).

Your comments would be most welcome.

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UPDATE - February 2010

It has been gratifying to see over 200 visits to the web site (to January 2010) and well over 100 downloads of the full text (version 7).

Version 8 corrects a number of errors and is now available for download, as is an Errata sheet which notes the corrections. The ISB Number for version 8 is 978-0-9865541-0-0. (Note that version 8 is not an update, only a more accurate edition.)

The work is profiled on the Network for Business Sustainability (NBS), the new name of the network which my report stills calls by its former name, Research Network for Business Sustainability. (At "" go to Knowledge, then All Reports.)

The work was presented by way of a poster session at the CANSEE Conference in Vancouver, 20-22 October 2009.

Prof. Peter Hardi (Center for Business and Society, CEU Business School, Budapest) has invited me to participate in a panel at the Summer Conference of the Ontario International Development Agency at Laurentian University in Sudbury on 22-25 June 2010. The panel’s theme is “Sustainable development in Canada and in transition societies: The limits to best practices.”

I prepared a paper for the Conference panel. A modified version, “Sustainability: What does it mean for Business?” (6 pp.) is available for download. It provides yet another summary of my key findings, along with key references for each section, 38 in all. Included are references to the new SME Sustainability Roadmap on Industry Canada’s web site and the new Eureka Exchange web site to be launched in March 2010.

A few printed, bound and tabbed copies of the full text (v.7), with the illustrations, remain available at $30.00 + postage.



This report is intended for both the general reader and for research economists and policy analysts whose work touches on sustainability issues. For the general reader, the narrative aims to further raise awareness about the significance of a sustainability orientation for business enterprises. It is hoped that policy analysts and researchers in the field will find especially the annotations useful – as a reference and perhaps as a source of ideas or warnings about pitfalls in their own work.

The story line takes the reader from what the UN Millennium Assessments and climate change mean for business, to annotations of initiatives, reports and analyses about more sustainable business conduct; and further to reporting issues, the business case for sustainability, the relation with stock market returns and, finally, the role of governments.

Besides the obvious anchor in the business perspective, wherever possible the selection of references and the annotations especially seek out what pertains to small and medium-sized enterprises. They always note the inclusion of Canadian data, if there are any. For descriptive reports, an idea is provided of what is covered, without summarizing the substantive content. For analytical reports, the aim was to capture the source of data, the methodology employed and the main results. In two dozen cases, the annotation ends with a Comment.

Nearly 400 references are so annotated, sometimes extensively. There is also reference to over 100 news reports and to over 50 web sites, in addition to government sites. Some 80 additional works are merely referenced without annotation. All references are in English. Two-thirds of the annotated references date from 2005 or later. The work aims to be up to date till October 2008, though some more recent references did slip in before the text was finalized in July 2009.

One PDF file contains the complete text of the document (267 pp.).

The illustrative figures are available in three separate PDFs.

Excerpts from the text are also provided for your convenience:

+ Foreword, Summary, and Outline (8 pp.)

+ Table of Contents (6 pp.)

+ References (45 pp.)

Go to this directory to download the documents.

This work was performed at the request of and while employed by Industry Canada. No opinions expressed in this material should be interpreted as representing those of the Department or of the Government of Canada. It is “Reproduced with the permission of the Minister of Public Works and Government Services, 2009.”

Your comments would be most welcome. A printed version (bound and tabbed) is available on request, at cost ($30 plus postage).

Send me a comment

Envoyez-moi un commentaire


Ottawa, Ontario


October 2009

Keywords: sustainability+business annotated+bibliography ecoefficiency environmental+management+systems corporate+social+responsibility responsible+investment shorttermism environmental+regulation

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