Confronting Capitalism

Real Solutions for a Troubled Economic System

 Confronting Capitalism

Author: Philip Kotler
Pub Date: April 2015
Print Edition: $26.00
Print ISBN: 9780814436455
Page Count: 256
Format: Hardback
e-Book ISBN: 9780814436462

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Does Capitalism, by Its Very Nature, Exploit the Environment?

Does Capitalism, by Its Very Nature, Exploit the Environment?

Can Companies Adopt Ecological Practices and Protect Their Bottom Line?

Is capitalism neutral in its effects on planet earth? Not based on the impact of carbon emissions, ozone layer depletion, air and water pollution, toxic waste, and more, all fueled by the production, distribution, and consumption of products for profit. Can companies serve the greater good of a more sustainable world and stay in business?

A champion of capitalism as the best economic system for the planet, Philip Kotler also recognizes the challenges of meeting both business and environmental objectives. As he stresses in his new book, CONFRONTING CAPITALISM (AMACOM; April 2015): “There is a real need to convince businesses that sustainability is profitable, that sustainability creates a competitive advantage.” To help make that case, Kotler notes:

• There is increased interest and even profit to be made in conserving energy. Most major manufacturers now produce household appliances that list their energy consumption. The EPA has required certain industries and companies to invest in pollution-control equipment to reduce the output of carbon emissions.

• Hurdle: The United States remains the world’s second largest consumer of energy and materials after China, increasing not only the toll of pollution and climate upheaval, but also the problem of how we dispose of our physical goods.

• Today, more than forty global banks, and many insurance companies, demand proper examination of ecological costs as a condition for funding or coverage.

• More companies are committed to considering the impact of their processes and products on the local environment and society as a whole. For example, the clothier Patagonia aims to “close the loop on the product life cycle—to make old clothes into new and keep them from ever reaching a landfill or incinerator.”

• Most investments to reduce environmental costs are recouped within twelve to eighteen months. 3M saved $1 billion in the first year alone on pollution reduction and, over the course of a decade, was able to reduce its pollutions by 90 percent.

• Among the top 100 companies practicing sustainability are BASF, BMW, Bombardier, Siemens, and Samsung. “They have accepted the fact that pursuing growth, profitability, and sustainability are compatible goals,” states Kotler. “But we need more companies, nonprofit organizations, and government units to join this movement. We are still far behind reaching the point where we can relax.”

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