Will Sustainability Reshape the Corporate Environment?

Globalisation and technology have reshaped the corporate environment over the past decades. Will sustainability have a similar effect and what implications does this have for business?

In this essay argues that technological development, globalisation and sustainability are integral parts of the life cycle of technological change. However we have in the recent past witnessed n environmental sustainability issue of significance never previously witnessed. This is the problem of climate change. This essay claims that climate change is therefore likely to reshape the corporate agenda significantly and to a much greater extend than previous environmental and social problems have. The effects of this will be a gradual phase out of less sustainable businesses and a growth of businesses which serve the needs of people and planet simultaneously.
Over the past decades globalisation and technology have had a huge impact on the corporate environment and have fuelled the growth of ever larger global corporations and the use of technology to produce goods in a more cost effective and less labour intensive fashion. Whilst globalisation and technology development have brought with them many positive aspects, the one most quoted being economic wealth, there are a number of negative implications upon people and the planet. Negative implications include environmental problems for example climate change, and social problems, such as inequality, exploitation or lack of empowerment. Sustainability is already and has always shaped the corporate agenda. Examples of this in the past are the introduction of employment laws and a health care system, as well as pollution limits for rivers etc. Such systems started to be introduced during the industrial revolution. As such sustainability can be seen as an integral step of the lifecycle of change through technological breakthrough/development and globalisation, as displayed in Figure 1 below:

Technological innovation or globalisation...