Protecting the environment, both in developed and developing countries, is a popular policy topic that even crosses over into the worlds of mass media and marketing. It is hard to avoid companies advertising their green practices, but even with the surge in advertising, many see these efforts as corporations covering up their selfish actions.
This Policy Primer argues that corporate self-interest and environmental stewardship are compatible. Independent businesses and entrepreneurs acting within a context that protects property rights and encourages innovation are inherently inclined towards green practices.
Although the late nineteenth century is not usually associated with environmental protection, examples from both the United States and Great Britain during this period, as well as more recent examples, illustrate how market arrangements might progressively reduce the environmental impacts of economic activities.