chapter  1
19 Pages

Dimensions of sustainability in impoverished contexts in emerging economies

WithStefanie Beninger, Matthew Wilson

Sustainability has emerged as an important topic across industry, academia, and governments alike. This chapter explores how the twelve elements of various dimensions relate to research on and practice in impoverished contexts, as well as discussing trade-offs that exist between these dimensions. It presents a comprehensive approach to sustainability, which includes economic, social, environmental, institutional, and cultural dimensions. Ensuring economic contribution to the community can be challenging due to pressures to maximize profit, which often come at the expense of spending in other cost categories. Organizations can strive to gain the consent of the community, understand differing worldviews, take a long-term view, and improve local capacities through their activities. Granting influence involves giving a range of individuals a voice in decision making: flattened hierarchies at the organization and community meetings could help foster inclusion, for example. The management of trade-offs can also be facilitated by organizations’ explicit prioritization of different elements of sustainability.