Eco-Business Book Summary - Eco-Business Book explained in key points
Listen to the Intro

Eco-Business summary

Peter Dauvergne and Jane Lister

A Big-Brand Takeover of Sustainability

4.5 (16 ratings)
12 mins
Table of Contents

    summarized in 6 key ideas

    Audio & text in the Blinkist app
    Key idea 1 of 6

    Eco-businesses are primarily motivated by profit and not by concerns for the health of the planet.

    What comes to mind when you hear the term eco-business?

    You might think about a company that restructures its business practices out of concern for the environment. But in fact, the pursuit of profit is the main driver of the eco-business trend.

    How can this be? Well, increasing the sustainability of a company is, above all else, a great way to cut manufacturing costs and increase efficiency. In other words, becoming an eco-business allows a company to make and sell more goods.

    The Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Toronto invested $25,000 CAD to upgrade its water systems as part of an energy conservation program. The result? A more efficient and less wasteful system that generated over $200,000 CAD in annual savings.

    So from a business standpoint, being sustainable is smart. But isn’t it also good for society and the environment? Actually, not really. In the long term, eco-businesses have a negative impact on social justice and environmental conservation.

    That’s because, as we’ve mentioned, supply chain efficiency facilitates accelerated production at lower per-unit costs. In other words, companies make more stuff for less.

    As a result, the total environmental impact of an eco-business increases even as the per-unit consumption of water, energy, material and waste decreases.

    Consider Coca-Cola. A decreased per-unit cost of production means lower costs, which allows the beverage company to meet increasing demand. But this accelerated production has had a taxing effect on its sugar cane suppliers. In fact, soil fertility in Papua New Guinea has dropped by 40 percent within the last two decades, due to increased production of sugar cane.

    Coca-Cola’s story also hints at another influencing factor. As eco-business practices make corporations ever-more successful, their power over the economic system grows. And that’s why, according to the World Wildlife Fund, Coca-Cola has more power over commodity producers than does the United Nations.

    Want to see all full key ideas from Eco-Business?

    Key ideas in Eco-Business

    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    What is Eco-Business about?

    Eco-Business (2013) unpacks corporate sustainability initiatives to reveal a business model that has far more to do with profit and market share than earnest environmentalism. The tools and tactics described in these blinks allow businesses to cut costs and maximize profits, all in the name of the environment. Yet through firms’ collaboration with governments and NGOs, some corporate eco-initiatives can actually have a positive effect on the environment.

    Best quote from Eco-Business

    A market study by A. T. Kearney showed that companies with a commitment to sustainability outperformed their peers by 15 percent during the financial crisis.

    —Peter Dauvergne and Jane Lister
    example alt text

    Who should read Eco-Business?

    • Business leaders looking to cut costs, increase efficiency and promote a “green” image
    • Policymakers curious about the real impact of corporate sustainability initiatives
    • Consumers wanting to know how their purchases affect the environment

    About the Author

    Paul Dauvergne is a political science professor and the director of the Liu Institute for Global Issues at the University of British Columbia. He’s authored and co-authored several books, including Timber and The Shadows of Consumption: Consequences for the Global Environment.  

    Jane Lister is a senior research fellow at the Liu Institute for Global Issues at the University of British Columbia. Her previous books include Timber and Corporate Social Responsibility and the State: International Approaches to Forest Co-Regulation.

    Categories with Eco-Business

    Books like Eco-Business

    People ❤️ Blinkist
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    People also liked

    Start growing with Blinkist now
    26 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    Of Blinkist members create a better reading habit*
    *Based on survey data from Blinkist customers
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 5,500+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial