When I was preparing to write this article, I remembered a very sad piece of news; a deadly garment factory fire in Bangladesh, which killed 112 workers. It is claimed that managers lowered gates to prevent employees from leaving because they thought it was a false alarm . I recall that it is not the first time something dreadful like this happens. It is known that in order to deal with risks, businesses have several responses: (1) to avoid the risk, (2) to accept it, (3) to mitigate it, or (4) to transfer it. The industrial era in developed countries has been ended, when these countries found ways to transfer the dark side of their industries to developing and third world countries. Either seeking to maximize profit or to avoid bad reputation in home countries, where human rights are respected, businesses and big multinational corporations started to invest in manufacturing facilities in poor countries, keeping cleaner business processes in-house such as marketing and product design.
Since Theodore Levitt coined the term ‘globalization’ in 1983 , we began to have a descriptive term for many theories and world-wide trends such as: the ecologically unequal exchange, dependency, structural globalization, world-systems . As macrosociology had failed to address how and the extent to which the extraction and export of natural resources from less-developed, peripheral countries (1) involve a vertical ﬂow of value embodied in energy and matter to more-developed countries, and (2) could greatly inﬂuence the environmental and structural contexts in which subsequent development efforts unfold , it failed also to address critical social issues in the less-developed countries. Despite the campaigns against child labour and human rights in developed countries, pushing corporates to adopt and implement social and ethical responsibility, the problems are still exist and deep rooted.
Despite that “the process of globalization of industrial supply networks resulted in many developing countries becoming the production site for developed countries. Not only did the societal values (people) take on the responsibility of the environmental impacts (planet), they also entered the public debate on corporate social responsibility” , accidents such as the Bangladesh’s garments factory demonstrate that those debates do not move beyond the debating stage in the same speed as the damage happening to the environment.
At times when the cleaner parts of supply chains are located in developed countries, other parts located in less developed countries and emerging countries such as China and Brazil still do not address child labour, working physical conditions, minimum wages, poverty, and other human rights violations, and still our white chocolates producing companies employ children and slaves directly or indirectly through their suppliers. The freedom of movement of resources between boundaries granted by globalization resulted in changes in communities’ dynamics and the contextual changes sue to freeing the markets and incorporating sustainability concepts at the same time are creating more challenges based on contradicting responses, objectives, and interests.
Muneepeerakul & Qubbaj  argue that: “connection to a greater, outside system must also be taken into account when considering the growth of a community or city”, this connection changes the urban environment. Even in developed countries, the ever-increasing gaps between social classes, the competition over a limited pool of jobs and depending on volunteerism, which in my opinion might be a sign of economic distress .
In discussing the relationship between sustainability and globalization, we need to consider who is paying the price for corporates’ gains. Globalization should not serve to “buffer the negative impacts of material-intense lifestyles; it cannot be allowed to short-circuit the negative feedback that producers and consumers would normally experience from over-exploitation of their supportive ecosystems” as Kissinger and Rees advised  . This demands for ethical leadership that believes that corporate social responsibility is not a marketing strategies to gain more profits.
 abc News.Bangladesh Factory Inferno Witness: Managers Ignored Fire: http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/bangladesh-factory-inferno-witness-manager…
 New York Times.Theodore Levitt, 81, Who Coined the Term ‘Globalization’, Is Dead: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/06/business/06levitt.html?_r=0
 Jorgenson, A., & Clark, B. (2011). Societies consuming nature: A panel study of the ecological footprints of nations, 1960–2003. Social Science Research, 40, 226–244.
 van Bommel, H. W. (2011). A conceptual framework for analyzing sustainability strategies in industrial supply networks from an innovation perspective. Journal of Cleaner Production, 19, 895-904.
 Muneepeerakul, R., & Qubbaj, M. R. (2012). The effect of scaling and connection on the sustainability of a socio-economic resource system. Ecological Economics, 77, 123–128.
 Kissinger, M., & Rees, W. E. (2010). An interregional ecological approach for modelling sustainability in a globalizing world—Reviewing existing approaches and emerging directions. Ecological Modelling, 221, 2615–2623.