Transforming International Product Chains into Channels of Sustainable Production

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1.1 Sustainable development
Although command-and-control measures have had a significant beneficial impact on the environment, it is now generally recognised that ecological sustainability requires further integration of environmental concerns into the strategies that basically define corporate identity. Moreover, it is increasingly considered that sustainable
development involves three main aspects of productive activity: the economic, social and environmental.

1.2 Corporate responsibility
The relevance of this triad is particularly manifest in the international trade relationships involving large international
trading and manufacturing companies that obtain their major inputs from lowincome regions in the world. Many of
these large international companies— based mostly in advanced economies in the European Union, Australasia and
North America—are now facing growing demands for corporate responsibility and accountability. The mixed blessing that globalisation is thought to be is also leading to further pressure on companies operating in developing countries on
issues such as labour rights and environmental management, especially when the countervailing powers of good government and civil society are weak and poverty prevails.

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