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What Everyone Needs to Know®

Paul B. Thompson and Patricia E. Norris

22 April 2021

ISBN: 9780190883232

224 pages

In Stock

What Everyone Needs To Know®

Price: £12.99


Achieving sustainability has been a driving ideal in fields as diverse as business management, environmental policy, and ecological science for more than twenty years, yet until now there has been no book that combines a non-technical introduction to the basic concepts of sustainability with examples that illustrate how these concepts are being applied in different fields. Sustainability: What Everyone Needs to Know® introduces readers to the systems thinking that underpins sustainability in its various applications, and what it is we risk by failing to adopt sustainable values and practices.

  • Provides a thorough introduction to sustainability's history and its major stakeholders
  • Walks the reader through key concepts that have guided policy and scholarship on sustainability
  • Encompasses a diverse range of sustainability's applications, including climate change, profitable business models, social justice, and governance
  • Grounded in systems thinking and written without technical jargon, emphasizes larger systems concepts over details
  • Combines authors' areas of expertise to cover environmental ethics, agriculture, and economics of sustainability among other angles on the topic series

About the Author(s)

Paul B. Thompson, W.K. Kellogg Chair in Agricultural Food, and Community Ethics, Department of Philosophy, Michigan State University, and Patricia E. Norris, Guyers-Seevers Chair in Natural Resource Conservation, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics, Michigan State University

Paul B. Thompson is trained in philosophy and has spent a career of research and writing with a focus on technological risks and on ethical questions that arise in connection with agriculture and the food system. He is the W.K. Kellogg Chair in Agricultural Food and Community Ethics at Michigan State University, and author of numerous articles. His book From Field to Fork: Food Ethics for Everyone was published by Oxford University Press in 2015. It won the "Book of the Year" award for 2015 from the North American Society for Social Philosophy. Patricia E. Norris is a natural resource economist with a specialization in the economics and policy of natural resources and the environment. Her academic career has focused on land and water management and policy with a focus on how public and private interests are reconciled. She is the Gordon and Norma Guyer and Gary L. Seevers Chair in Natural Resource Conservation at Michigan State University.

Table of Contents

    Chapter 1. What is Sustainability?
    Chapter 2. Sustainability and Business
    Chapter 3. Sustainability and Ecology
    Chapter 4. Sustainability and Environmental Quality
    Chapter 5. Sustainable Development
    Chapter 6. Sustainability and Social Justice
    Chapter 7. Sustainable Governance
    Chapter 8. Sustainability in Science, Education, Religion, and the Arts
    Chapter 9. Sustainability: What Everyone Needs to Ask


"Sustainability is the hot buzzword these days. Does it take a whole book to explain what it means? Yes and how lucky we are to have it. This is a book about how to think about what it takes to keep systems going. The Q and A format makes difficult and contested concepts especially easy to follow." - Marion Nestle, Professor Emerita, New York University, and author of Let's Ask Marion: What You Need to Know about Food, Nutrition, and Health

"This book may surprise many readers by exploring sustainability from such diverse fields as business and scientific realms to social justice and the arts. Their lens of 'systems thinking' helps explain why sustainability and resilience increasingly dominates public and private sector agendas today." - Christine Ervin, Former President and CEO, U.S. Green Building Council

"Thompson and Norris are some of the most distinguished academics in the field of sustainability. Although the book is clearly underpinned by a considerable body of evidence, the writing style is engaging and easily digestible. It will serve as an excellent introduction to the topic for students and curious readers alike." - Michael Braungart, Chemist and Founder of EPEA International GmbH, and Co-Founder of MBDC