I believe that the two biggest players in sustainability are government and consumers. Corporations indeed have a role to play as they have the ability to research and develop new technologies to solve issues but I believe it is the consumer that drive these changes. Corporations can lead the market but if the consumer is not ready to accept new ideas they will fail. Consumers are the ones that vote for corporations, and technologies by buying products and services. Consumers are also the ones that elect their government who both creates new regulations and enforces them upon corporations.
The truth is that all three groups influence each other. Corporations hire lobbyists to influence politician’s decisions which impact regulations. Corporations can also choose to lead the way by enforcing higher standards on themselves.
The government has the ultimate power but they serve the people (consumers). They create the regulations and enforce them. Government is usually slow to react and is behind especially with laws and regulations concerning new technology.
Government and corporations often work together to regulate industries. The leaders of industry usually end up being on regulatory boards that define the limits corporations must meet in order to be considered meeting environmental standards.