Open access book - The Role of Business in Global Sustainability Transformations

D'Amato, D., Toppinen, A., Kozak, R. 2022. The Role of Business in Global Sustainability Transformations. Routledge. doi:10.4324/9781003003588


Drawing on contributions from more than thirty international scholars and experts in the field, this book examines the role of business as an enabler, as an inhibitor, and ultimately as a co-actor in global sustainability transformations expected over the next few decades.

The Role of Business in Global Sustainability Transformations employs several theoretical perspectives and provides abundant examples and cases to discuss a variety of emerging concepts, phenomena, and trends shaping business sustainability. Weaving through the chapters, the editors present core tensions and sources of inertia towards transformative change, and acknowledge that envisioning multiple solutions and pathways are possible and desirable. They advocate for the need to align visions, actions and time horizons between policy, society and business in addressing the interlinked socio-ecological challenges that our society currently faces.

This open access resource will be an important resource for scholars and professionals working in the field of sustainability and sustainable business, and a vital educational text for students interested in this discipline.


About the Editors

Dalia D’Amato is an Adjunct Professor at the Department of Forest Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, University of Helsinki (Finland), and a member of the Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science (HELSUS). Since Autumn 2022, she has been employed by the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE). Current research interests include solution-oriented sustainability narratives, such as the green, circular, and bioeconomy, and related societal and organisational transformations; business sustainability in the forest sector and other land use-intensive sectors; biodiversity-underpinned ecosystem services and the governance of socio-ecological systems.

Anne Toppinen is Professor in forest economics and business and Vice Dean of research affairs and doctoral education at the Department of Forest Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, at University of Helsinki (Finland). During 2018-21, she served as Director of the Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science (HELSUS). Her research interests focus on sustainability pathways and resilience of forest-based value networks, corporate responsibility questions in a broad sense, and emergence of new sustainability-driven business models. She has published widely in the fields of corporate responsibility and forest bioeconomy.

Robert Kozak is a Professor and Dean of the Faculty of Forestry at the University of British Columbia. His research and teaching revolve around sustainable business management and business-based solutions to complex problems related to sustainable development, forestry, wood products, and the emerging conservation economy. He was awarded the International Union of Forest Research Organization’s Scientific Achievement Award (2014), a Doctor of Agriculture and Forestry honoris causa from the University of Helsinki (2022), and the Killam Teaching Prize (2001, 2014).


Reviews of the book

"This book is a little gem! It succeeds in the ambitious task of putting together what businesses, governments, and the civil society could do in tandem – through collaborative but also adversarial action – to forward a systemic transformation toward sustainability, especially within business. The readers are offered a comprehensive understanding of theories of sustainability transformation, particularly as concerns sustainability change within business, coupled with concrete examples from different parts and contexts of the globe. If you seeking for new ideas for how to change businesses toward sustainability in a systemic setting, this is book is a perfect choice." Minna HalmeProfessor of Sustainability Management, Aalto University School of Business

"As The Role of Business in Global Sustainability Transformations sets out, a green economy based on natural capital, as well as social and human capital, is going to be essential in the global sustainability transformation. The authors delve into the challenges of this and consider some of the potential solutions for business, connecting the jigsaw of activities in an engaging overview of where we find ourselves today." Mark GoughCEO, Capitals Coalition

"Society must find a way to halt the climate and biodiversity crisis if we are to leave a habitable world for future generations. Sustainable business approaches are recognised as being critical for achieving that aim. This extremely timely and important book is essential reading for policy makers, academics and those working in the private sector. It provides an insightful collection of essays critically reflecting on the most prominent business pathways, opportunities and challenges to the sustainability transition." Lyndall BullHonorary Research Fellow, University of Melbourne