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The Triple Bottom Line: How Today's Best-Run Companies Are Achieving Economic, Social and Environmental Success - and How You Can Too, Revised and Updated by Andrew Savitz

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5

The Backlash Against Sustainability

Sustainability is a pernicious fad.

—One manager's reply to PricewaterhouseCoopers' first employee sustainability survey

In Newtonian physics, the Third Law of Motion states, “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” Any major cultural, social, and economic shift in today's interdependent, wired, and politically polarized world also seems to invite a contrarian response. The enormous movement toward sustainability by businesses around the world has produced an inevitable backlash, most of it from one of two camps.

First, there are cynics, often associated with the politics of the left, who deride the sustainability movement as mere hype. They call for significant corporate reform in ...

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