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Category Archives: The Economist
Publishers worry as new technologies transform their industry
Jun 5th 2008 | LOS ANGELES
JEFF BEZOS, the founder and chief executive of Amazon, destination for nearly four-fifths of online book buyers, appears harmless. But to some in the publishing industry, he looms like a recurring nightmare. Having upset booksellers’ apple-carts in the 1990s with his online stores, he is now widening his assault on the industry, as he personably explained in a speech at Book Expo America (BEA), a trade fair in Los Angeles, on May 30th. (more…)
Activists and companies can move from confrontation to co-operation
May 22nd 2008
LAST month Tom Katzenmeyer, vice-president of investor relations at Limited Brands, met representatives of the government of the Canadian province of Alberta. Limited Brands is an American apparel firm with sales of $10.1 billion last year; its best-known division is Victoria’s Secret, which sells lingerie. And what was the topic of discussion? The firm’s worries over threatened caribou habitats.
This may not seem to have much to do with Mr Katzenmeyer’s job, but Limited Brands is one of several firms giving a new twist to the idea of corporate social responsibility by putting money and effort into causes previously championed by activist groups. Sometimes they are even working with campaigners whom they had once fought to a standstill.
How barefaced capitalism can help save the Amazonian rainforest
Apr 10th 2008 | PUERTO MALDONADO
FROM the top of the 30m-tall viewing platform at Posada Amazonas, a thatched 30-bed tourist lodge in the Peruvian Amazon, immense trees—some more than a millennium in age—extend to the horizon. It seems an untroubled Eden. But below the canopy, danger lurks in the shape of a new paved highway.
Peru’s Madre de Dios region has been undergoing an ecotourism boom. More than 70 “eco-lodges” cater to tourists from around the world, eager to experience a few days in the Amazon. Last year more than 60,000 foreigners visited the area, a 20-fold increase over 15 years.
Its success stems from two factors. First, the region comprises vast areas of pristine rainforest, including some of the most biodiverse places on earth, much of it protected (at least on paper) in magnificent national parks. It is also easily accessible. Its capital, Puerto Maldonado, is less than an hour’s flight from Cuzco, gateway to Machu Picchu, the Incas’ ruined city. From Puerto Maldonado, many of the lodges are just an hour or two away by riverboat.