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Beyond Brundtland

True Price and Sustainability

Xavier Andrillon

Publication: 2021 / 135pp / PB b&w

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Price: £7.50

Current approaches to pricing have proved unable to deliver sustainable development. This study explores how the concept of ‘true price’, first proposed by Rudolf Steiner (1861–1925), combined with the logic of accounting can provide a novel, dynamic, comprehensive and also causal model that enables one to understand how ‘untrue’ prices contribute to unsustainability. Case studies have been used to verify if the model is fit for explaining real-world issues – in this instance, farmers facing untrue prices during the 1999-2003 global coffee crisis and on deforestation fronts in the Brazilian Amazon. The analysis of these case studies leads to the framing of true price as a necessary condition of sustainability, albeit not the only one. Combining true price and accounting gives concrete meaning and technical grounding to the notion of sustainability, leading to practicable guidelines that can measure progress towards it.

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