Reinterpreting the Definition of Sustainable Development for a More Ecocentric Reorientation

Authors

  • Sophia Imran,

    Corresponding author
    1. School of Accounting Economics and Finance, Faculty of Business, University of Southern Queensland, Australia
    2. Australian Centre for Sustainable Business and Development, University of Southern Queensland, Australia
    • Correspondence to: Dr. Sophia Imran, University of Southern Queensland, School of Accounting Economics and Finance, Faculty of Business, Toowoomba, Queensland 4350 Australia. E-mail: Sophia.Imran@usq.edu.au

    Search for more papers by this author
  • Khorshed Alam,

    1. School of Accounting Economics and Finance, Faculty of Business, University of Southern Queensland, Australia
    2. Australian Centre for Sustainable Business and Development, University of Southern Queensland, Australia
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Narelle Beaumont

    1. Australian Centre for Sustainable Business and Development, University of Southern Queensland, Australia
    2. School of Management and Marketing, Faculty of Business, University of Southern Queensland, Australia
    Search for more papers by this author

ABSTRACT

While environmental and social research have generated a large amount of information and data on how values and environmental ethics relate to sustainable development, there are no studies that examine the missing links reflected in the terminology of the sustainable development definition that alienates it from its ecological ethos. This paper reviews the concept of sustainable development that continues to remain vague even two decades after the Brundtland Commission report. It then examines the limitations in the contemporary anthropocentric conceptualization of sustainable development with a utilitarian ethic and argues for a more ecocentric reinterpretation of its definition that is more inclusive and incorporates recognition of the socio-ecological values. The paper concludes with a call for a revised global resolution and a framework for sustainable development based on its reinterpretation that recognizes the interdependence of humans with the rest of the ecosphere. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment

Ancillary