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Profits and SustainabilityA History of Green Entrepreneurship$
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Geoffrey Jones

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198706977

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198706977.001.0001

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Pioneering in Food and Energy

Pioneering in Food and Energy

(p.23) 1 Pioneering in Food and Energy
Profits and Sustainability

Geoffrey Jones

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the pioneering green entrepreneurs in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries who emerged in natural food and wind and solar energy. They were not conservationists but aimed to create for-profit businesses which were focused more on building a more sustainable future than on preserving the past. Many of them saw profits as a means to the end of remediating the ecological externalities of the conventional system. They are identifiable as precursors of contemporary green entrepreneurs, though their focus and mental framing reflected their own age, rather than ours. The chapter also considers the importance of the philosopher Rudolf Steiner, who offered a radical vision of sustainability. This period saw the foundations laid for today’s organic food, natural medicine, and renewable energy industries.

Keywords:   organic food, wind energy, solar energy, Rudolf Steiner, anthroposophy

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