The Three Levels of Sustainability

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9781906093686: The Three Levels of Sustainability

This book aims to provide the missing link in current debates around sustainability. The role of business, governments, NGOS and multilateral institutions are widely covered and many books discuss their possible actions, strategies and roles. But all of these organizations are made up of individuals. And it is individuals who will need to steer society and organizations toward a more just and equitable world.The book takes a holistic approach to sustainable development. The authors argue that this approach starts and ends with the human being. They believe that the personal dimension of sustainable development has been neglected and that it is clear that sustainable societies cannot be achieved without committed individuals who are convinced of the need to be part of the sustainability project.The authors frame their ideas around the Three Levels of Sustainability (TLS) framework which they argue addresses at least some of the weaknesses inherent in a fragmented approach to sustainability. Their approach encompasses societal, organizational and individual levels; and, by looking through the lens of how sustainability has evolved, provides a roadmap for producing the kind of leaders necessary for sustainable development in all of its dimensions – people, planet and profit. The focus on how the individual can contribute to these three dimensions is unique.To arrive at this multi-level and multi-dimensional framework, the book introduces and analyzes theories from sustainable development, corporate social responsibility and personal leadership and systemically looks for linkages between them that are useful for sustainability.This framework is placed firmly in its historical context. The authors are highly literate about the development and interpretations of sustainability and bring us to their current position via informed discussions on the history of economics, business-and-environment, social development, the corporation and the profit principle, CSR, and measurement and reporting.The book has been designed as both a text for students as well as those already in management and leadership positions in the private, public or non-profit sectors and will also prove invaluable to those wishing to familiarize themselves with sustainability.

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About the Author:

Elena Cavagnaro was born in 1963 in Rome (Italy). In Rome she completed her undergraduate studies in ancient philosophy. Thanks to a scholarship she was able to continue her studies at the Croce Institute in Naples and at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam where she completed her PhD in 1996. In 1997 she joined Stenden, a University of Applied Sciences in the north of the Netherlands, as a lecturer in business ethics. She renovated the BA curriculum of Stenden Retail Business School, focusing on business and society issues. In 2002 she was appointed senior lecturer in corporate social responsibility, sustainable development, and leadership for sustainability for Stenden Master s programs. In 2004 she became Stenden Professor in Service Studies. Following her understanding of sustainability as a multi-dimensional and multi-layered concept, her research focuses on issues where the organizational level meets the society level or the individual the organizational.

George H. Curiel is a native of the island of Curaçao. He has served as Director of the Department of Development Cooperation for the government of the Netherlands Antilles and National Authorizing Officer for the European Development Fund. He has been involved as advisor in areas related to economic and social development, tourism development, development cooperation, and constitutional affairs, and has chaired or participated in numerous boards, working groups, and committees. After retiring in Curaçao in 2000, he lived in the Netherlands and worked as a part-time lecturer and advisor at the Stenden School of Graduate Studies. He earned a Master s in economics at Yale University, and his BSc in business administration at the University of the Netherlands Antilles in Curaçao. As a freelance advisor, he continues to consult with governments and organizations in search of new horizons and strategies for a more sustainable development path.


"... The Three Levels of Sustainability is ... a compelling read. As a student text-book, it provides a great overview of various discussions and trends that are difficult to find in such a compact yet well researched format. Overall, Cavagnaro and Curiel provide a solid contribution to the discussion surrounding organisations by making a strong argument for the economisation of sustainability and vice versa." (Environmental Values)

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