Sustainability in Business Economics

  • Andrew J. AngusEmail author
  • Joseph G. Nellis


To a large extent, mainstream economic thinking on sustainability has coalesced into the field of environmental economics. However, in this chapter we propose that practice has now moved beyond this view of sustainability. Sustainable action is often led by business as a means of gaining competitive advantage, creating, or destroying barriers to entry, or creating new markets. We suggest that sustainability thinking should be infused through both microeconomic and macroeconomic teaching, rather than being a distinct topic on a microeconomics module or course.

Accordingly, we propose that a microeconomics syllabus should view sustainability from a firm’s perspective, as a means of improving competitiveness, creating new barriers to entry, or disruptive innovation, rather than viewed entirely through a lens of government intervention. A macroeconomics syllabus should include questions around how to measure economic growth, adjusted for environmental gains and losses, or in a way that more closely links to human wellbeing. Consideration should also be given to what concepts such as the green economy, circular economy, and steady state economy mean in the context of macroeconomic planning.


Sustainability Economics Efficiency Policy 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cranfield School of ManagementBedfordUK

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