Business Ethics, Shades of Green

A farmer learning to grow Fair Trade Certified coffee in Brazil in 2008. Though Starbucks is the largest buyer of Fair Trade coffee, activists have pressed the company to increase its level of commitment, or “shade of green,” with even greater focus on Fair Trade sales.

Photo credit: U.S. Agency for International Development

Shades of green is a term coined in the 1990s to refer to various levels of commitment to environmental causes, typically as applied by businesses. Edward Freeman, Jessica Pierce, and Richard Dodd produced the first book on the subject, Shades of Green: Business Ethics and the Environment, in 1995. They followed this effort in 2000 with Environmentalism and the New Logic of Business: How Firms Can Be Profitable and Leave Our Children a Living ...

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