Commentary article on the evolution of symmetric perspectives in corporate sustainability and conservation biology. Author postdoc Dalia D'Amato.

Conservation biology (CB) and corporate sustainability (CS) are being joined in a curious marriage, as milestone political events such as Rio+20 and COP21 have built expectation on the business role in sustainability and environmental governance. Both CB and CS arose during the 1950-60’s as ethics-oriented concepts. During the later decades they have been popularised through instrumental arguments, respectively the ecosystem services concept and the business case for sustainability. These framings have represented an appealing alternative to the ethical argument, because (seemingly) normative-free and dynamic. In light of these trends in CB and CS, this articles aims at discussing advantages and risks of a dominant instrumental argument, and shared challenges for the development of the two disciplines.

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