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Sustainability Footprints in SMEs: Strategy and Case Studies for Entrepreneurs and Small Business by Lowellyne James

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11Conclusion

The evolution of the concept of corporate social responsibility and sustainability from sustainability/CSR awareness to sustainability/CSR integration reflects global society’s concern over increasing dependence on fossil fuels to generate the energy that powers our homes and businesses, the effects of which have contributed to climate change. Fossil fuel consumption is the unfortunate by-product of our fascination and fixation on the internal combustion engine, a contributing factor to increasing carbon emissions. Growing industrialization of the global society has created both a social and an agricultural phenomenon, and as such, we now live further from our natural resources such as food, water, and fuel through suburbanization. This distancing of human beings from the resources upon which our lives are dependent has led to the desensitizing of individuals regarding the impact of their lifestyles and businesses on our planet. Within this mix, there has emerged the social inequities between the affluent nations and less-affluent nations whose attitudes to sustainability are influenced by cultural factors leading to the exacerbation of poverty despite the availability of resources and access to information. Humanity is slowly coming to terms with the fact that all we have is our little blue planet; there is no “backup” planet. This growing acceptance has created a proliferation of definitions of sustainability and methodologies for achieving sustainable development. ...

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