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Questionable Business?

What are the effects of business today on food, health, standard of living, poverty, the environment? We're bombarded daily by ads and greenwash about all the great products we need to make us happy, successful and attractive. But for those of us who take a moment to look beyond our TV screens and other corporate media — the scoop is there for the finding. Out of sight and out of mind, what's the other side to the story? In the face of escalating destruction to our climate, atmosphere, food, soil, water and ecosystems — fundamental changes are needed, if we are to survive. Rather than condemning business, this page is intended to provoke thought and positive action — so we can together raise the bar and build a more honest, sustainable society. We're all in this together. As citizens, consumers and eaters, we are all implicated. Follow the links, learn, take action!

(1) The Problem: unhealthy, unethical, unsustainable businesses

Unethical Corporations, Corporate Dirt, Corporate Watchdogs
Allegedly Unethical Firms | Corporate Dirt Archives | Researching Employer's Social and Environmental | | | Anti-corporate Activism | more 

Greenwash, Advertising & Public Relations
Greenwash articledefinitions | more
Advertising, Persuasion, and the "Creation of Needs"
article | links | links
Public Relations & PR Watch - "Toxic sludge is good for you!" | article | article | links

The Corporation
Film & book by Mark Achbar, Jennifer Abbott and Joel Bakan
film/video & website | links
The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power (book) by Joel Bakan | news | links Wealth by Stealth (book) | interview | article – by Harry Glasbeek

Growth, Limits to Growth, Smart Growth, Growth for the Sake of Growth
Economic Growth (defined) | Growth for the sake of Growth The Growth Imperative | Limits to Growth | Anti-Development | Sprawl & "Smart" Growth

Corporate Globalization, International Trade & the Race to the Bottom
International Trade & Corporate Globalization | Fair Trade | article | Anti-globalization | more
The "Race to The Bottom" | article & links | more links

Privatization, Commercialization, Vested Interests & Bias
Commercialization of Education
article | article | article | links | links | links | links
article | links
What's Wrong With the Media?
portal, articles & links

Business Issues
article | links
Corporate Accountability –
article | links
Planned Obsolescence:
Corporate Sweatshops:
article & links | links | more
Corporate Welfare:
article | links | more
article | definitions | links
Corporate Crime:
article | article | links
Business Ethics:
article | links | ethics links
Conflict of Interest:
article | article
book | links | energy issues & links
The tragedy of the commons
Business Issues

"Socialism collapsed because it did not allow prices to tell the economic truth. Capitalism may collapse because it does not allow prices to tell the ecological truth." – Oystein Dahle, former Vice President, Exxon, Norway

(2) The Solutions:
Green Business, Sustainable Business, Environmental Economics

Green Business & Environmental Economics
Sustainable/Green/Ecological Economics
article | links | links | links | book catalogue – book, website & consulting – Paul Hawken, Amory Lovins, L. Hunter Lovins
The Natural Step Canada: International:
Business Alliance for a Local Living Economy (BALLE), with local branches across USA & Canada
Green Enterprise Toronto | Coalition for a Green Economy |

Corporate Environmentalism | Green@Work Magazine

Green Living Products & Services (see also "Green Living", below)
Environment Industry in Canada and beyond (scroll down to "Environment Industry Directories")

Business for Social Responsibility (see also green business, above)
Business for Social Responsibility – Canada: CBSR | EthicScan | US: BSR
Corporate Knights Magazine (canada)
Corporate Knights Magazine
Social Investment Organization (Canada) | links, US & international
Social Capital:
article & definitions | Social Capitalist Awards
Why Buy Local?
Article | Article | Google

Small Business and Business Startup
Canada Business (click 'Starting a Business') | more Small Business Resources
(also, be sure to visit your municipality's Small Business or Entrepreneurship centre)
Small Business Financing in Canada (click "Financing") | Self-Employment Financial Assistance
Small Business & Entrepreneurship | more | search | news | About Social Enterprise | more

Shared & Cooperative Approaches
Cooperatives & Cooperation –
The Creative Commons
article | homepage | related
Open Content
article | links

Green Living – Sustainable Living – Green Consumer Products & Services
Environmental & Sustainable Living Education –
portal | environmental education
Sustainable Living –
article | portal | more links | links
Simple Living / Frugality / Voluntary Simplicity –
article | article | links | more
Buy Local –
article | article | links | Guides & Directories : Ottawa | Waterloo | more
Fair Trade –
article | portal
EcoLogo –
EcoLogo/Environmental Choice | Ecobuyer
Civic Participation & Activism –
portal | elections & politics

EcoPortal Canada – gateway to everything "eco" in Canada and beyond:

What's Wrong with Business? (quotations & links)

"Where once the student was taught that the unexamined life was not worth living, he is now taught that the profitably lived life is not worth examining." - Benjamin Barber

"Eleven inherent rules of Corporate Behavior: The Profit Imperative; The Growth Imperative; Competition & Aggression; Amorality; Hierarchy; Quantification, Linearity, Segmentation; Dehumanization; Exploitation; Ephemerality; Opposition to Nature"

"Seven Deadly Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Religion without sacrifice; Politics without principle" – Mohandas Gandhi

"The hidden hand of the market will never work without a hidden fist - McDonald's cannot flourish without McDonnell Douglas, the designer of the F-15." – Thomas L. Friedman, "A Manifesto for the Fast World," New York Times Magazine, Mar 28, 1999.

"If Ibsen's 'Enemy of the People' were alive today, he would recognize the ethic that has informed capitalist and communist countries alike – economic growth before public health and well-being. The true enemies of the people are those who continue to sacrifice our long-term interests for short-term gains. But perhaps we should all look in the mirror." – Susanna York

"Like fish in water, we rely on the commons – for life, for play, for community. So why is the commons so neglected and ignored?" (Yes Magazine, summer 2001).

"You can't have an economy anywhere except inside the environment. [...] Environmental refugees now outnumber refugees from war." – Ralph Torrie [ ]

"If an economy is to sustain progress, it must satisfy the basic principles of ecology. If it does not, it will decline and eventually collapse. There is no middle ground." – Lester Brown

"Our economic system has a fatal design flaw: it conceals many of the negative consequences of our choices, labeling them 'externalities.'"

"The gross national product includes air pollution and advertising for cigarettes, and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage. It counts special locks for our doors, and jails for the people who break them ... It does not allow for the health of our families, the quality of their education, or the joy of their play." – Robert Kennedy

"Socialism collapsed because it did not allow prices to tell the economic truth. Capitalism may collapse because it does not allow prices to tell the ecological truth." – Oystein Dahle, former Vice President, Exxon, Norway

"A hundred years ago, even fifty years ago, it did not seem urgent that we understand the relationship between business and a healthy environment, because natural resources seemed unlimited. But on the verge of a new millennium we know that we have decimated ninety-seven percent of the ancient forests in North America; every day our farmers and ranchers draw out 20 billion more gallons of water from the ground than are replaced by rainfall; the Ogalala Aquifer, an underwater river beneath the Great Plains larger than any body of fresh water on earth, will dry up within thirty to forty years at present rates of extraction; globally we lose 25 billion tons of fertile topsoil every year, the equivalent of all the wheatfields in Australia. These critical losses are occurring while the world population is increasing at the rate of 90 million people per year. Quite simply, our business practices are destroying life on earth. Given current corporate practices, not one wildlife reserve, wilderness, or indigenous culture will survive the global market economy. We know that every natural system on the planet is disintegrating. The land, water, air and sea have been functionally transformed from life-supporting systems into repositories for waste. There is no polite way to say that business is destroying the world." – Paul Hawken, The Ecology of Commerce (book)

"We consider that every one of the problems we have described in The Ecologist over the past three decades is the consequence of the policies imposed on society by our political and industrial leaders. The only responsible and indeed honest thing to do, therefore, is to stand back and reconsider the basic assumptions on which these policies are based." – The Ecologist

"Corporation: n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility." – Ambrose Bierce, 1842-1914.

"I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. ...corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed." (unknown origin, although sometimes attributed to Abraham Lincoln)

"No country not experiencing a revolution or a military defeat with a subsequent occupation has probably ever had as rapid or as widespread an increase in inequality as has occurred in the United States in the past two decades". – Lester Thurow, MIT economist [

"Why new rules? Because the old ones don't work any longer. They undermine local economies, subvert democracy, weaken our sense of community, and ignore the costs of our decisions on the next generation." – The New Rules Project

"Only when the last tree has died, and the last river has been poisoned, and the last fish has been caught... will we realize that we cannot eat money." – 19th century Cree saying

"People today recognize fewer than ten plants but over one thousand corporate logos" – Adbusters

"The corporate revolution will collapse if we refuse to buy what they are selling...their ideas, their version of history, their wars, their weapons, their notion of inevitability. Remember this: We be many and they be few. They need us more than we need them. Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." – Arundhati Roy, novelist

"Fascism should more appropriately be called corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power." – Benito Mussolini

"Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell" – Edward Abbey

More related quotes:

Related pages at

GoodWork Canada (jobs, contracts & internships for sustainability and peace)
Sustainable Living Links
Renewable Energy – Power that Doesn't Destroy (2)
Fair Trade vs. "Free" Trade / Corporate Globalization
Alternative Voices (alternative, ecological & independent media links)
What is the Commons?
EcoPortal Canada – gateway to everything "eco" in Canada and beyond
The People & Planet Directory
People & Planet Calendar | Other Calendars (see also the links & organizations above)

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