Environmental Protection and the SocialResponsibility of Firms

Perspectives from the Business Literature

Forest L. Reinhardt

Significant numbers of firms make investments in the provision or maintenance of environmental quality beyond the levels currently required by the laws of the countries in which they operate. The firms’ own executives and consultants, along with business academics and other observers, have generated a large body of literature that seeks to explain the causes and effects of these discretionary investments.

Much of this writing attempts to justify these discretionary investments on normative grounds, to argue that more firms should make investments of this type, or both. Normative justifications of investments in environmental ...

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