Journal Article

Greening the economy: interrogating sustainability innovations beyond the mainstream

Anna R. Davies and Sue J. Mullin

in Journal of Economic Geography

Volume 11, issue 5, pages 793-816
Published in print September 2011 | ISSN: 1468-2702
Published online December 2010 | e-ISSN: 1468-2710 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jeg/lbq050
Greening the economy: interrogating sustainability innovations beyond the mainstream

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Current international economic and environmental conditions have led to increasing calls for alternative pathways of development. Globally, the language of a green economy is being promoted as a means to develop a ‘win-win’ for the economy and the environment. There are concerns, however, that the emerging frameworks for sustainable economic renewal marginalize social dimensions of sustainability and the already existing practices of sustainability innovation within the social economy. Using empirical evidence from Ireland, this article examines the dimensions of this marginalisation by interrogating the dynamic landscape of environmentally focused social economy enterprises as additional spaces of sustainability innovation for a greener economy. It is found that while these enterprises can be cast as spaces of actually existing sustainable development tensions persist which together raise general questions about measuring and communicating sustainability as well as more foundational issues relating to permissible forms of sustainable economic renewal.

Keywords: green economy; ecological modernisation; sustainability innovation; social enterprise; Ireland; A13; G38; L31; L53; P16; P12; P13; Q20; Q56; Z10

Journal Article.  11747 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: General Economics ; Capitalist Systems ; Economic Sociology ; Environmental Economics ; Renewable Resources and Conservation ; Corporate Regulation ; Regulation and Industrial Policy ; Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise

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