Keywords: paradigms, sustaincentrism, ecocentrism, anthropocentrism, technocentrism, future normal, fiscal drag, organisational leaders, anthropocentric perspectives, sustaincentric perspectives, ecocentric perspectives, environmentally focused organisations, Thomas Gladwin, James Kennelly, Tara–Shelomith Krause, rhetoric, anthropocentric assumptions, economic assumptions, sustainability awareness, USA, United States, Belgium, UK, United Kingdom, Pillars of Hercules, organic food, Biome Lifestyle, ethical homewares, Beyond Skin, shoes, footwear, Recycline, consumer durables, Green Building Store, low energy buildings, Seventh Generation, cleaning products, Ecover, farm shops, detergents, People Tree, clothes, clothing, Triodos Bank, financial services, banking, TerraCycle, plant fertilisers, Howies, Green Stationery Company, Revolve, Terra Plana, By Nature, Belu, bottled water, BioRegional, charities, spin–off companies, Suma, wholefoods, innovation, sustainable development, sustainability
Environmental paradigms and organisations with an environmental mission
Over the past 20 years scholars have argued that key to achieving sustainability are the paradigms of organisational leaders, with these needing to move away from anthropocentric toward sustaincentric and or ecocentric perspectives. This paper reports on an empirical study that explored the views of leaders of a series of environmentally focused organisations, linking their views to the paradigm scheme of Gladwin et al. (1995) in an attempt to understand how their rhetoric is aligned to different paradigms. Findings suggest that interviewees lean towards sustaincentrism and/or ecocentrism in their rhetoric but that they also support some anthropocentric assumptions particularly with regard to economic assumptions. In support, some simple practises brought forward by the sample as helpful in embedding sustainability awareness within their organisations are also highlighted. The paper concludes that the organisations suffer with fiscal drag but also demonstrate a new 'future normal'.