From the Sustainability Dictionary:

Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

This definition was created in 1987 at the World Commission on Environment and Development (the Brundtland Commission). It is enshrined in the Swiss federal constitution. It is similar to the “seventh generation” philosophy of the Native American Iroquois Confederacy, mandating that chiefs always consider the effects of their actions on their descendants seven generations in the future.

There are many ways to measure or define sustainability. As described in the book Natural Capitalism, in business, these should include the sustainable development and use of, at least, the following four types of capital:

  • Financial Capital
  • Manufacturing Capital
  • Natural Capital
  • Human Capital

In addition, many organizations use the following criteria to assess sustainable products, services, and other activities:

Social Criteria:

  • Socially desirable
  • Culturally acceptable
  • Psychologically nurturing

Financial Criteria:

  • Economically sustainable
  • Technologically feasible
  • Operationally viable

Environmental Criteria:

  • Environmentally Robust
  • Generationally Sensitive
  • Capable of continuous learning

Collectively, sustainability, climate change, Vice Media, Leon Kaye, sustainability writers, Jonathon Porritt

What is All the ‘Collectively’ Fuss About?

This week, launched, and the heckling over its corporate sponsorship has already begun.

The Quick & Dirty: Snake Oil Sellers

Let's go back to the beginning of almost every company that exists today: You can find a clear social mission at the heart…
Bath Water Lily

Creating Constructive Futures in Business and Beyond

By drawing inspiration from nature, we may step beyond our narrowed-down view of life and recognize the intrinsic patterns and reciprocal relations in…

Walmart Commits to More Sustainable Food. Is it Serious?

On Monday, Walmart held its second semi-annual Global Sustainability Milestone Meeting and announced a new pledge to help create a more sustainable food…

Federal Agencies Launch Great Lakes Restoration Plan Part II

“The new Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Action Plan lays out the steps we need to take to get us closer to the day…
FAO Local_EWH-7132-0

Climate Change Requires New Approaches to Food Security

In the past, efforts to feed the world focused on boosting agricultural output to produce more food, but today's challenges – including climate…

McKinsey Touts Bioenergy as Coal Replacement

McKinsey writers Marco Albani, Nicolas Denis and Anna Granskog assert that biomass-based energy should not be counted out just yet. “Although today it…
Southwest Heart One

Southwest to Fly with Forest Waste Biofuel

The airline’s recent agreement with Colorado’s Red Rock Biofuels will have a double benefit: The low carbon renewable jet fuel — made using…

How to Tell Your Company’s Sustainability Story

Building a narrative around a social enterprise is tricky. You need to appeal to the bottom line, convey social/environmental impact, resonate with a…
DJSI_Review_Presentation_09_2014_final 1

GE, Nike, BoA Cut from 2014 Dow Jones Sustainability Index

“Both the importance and the understanding of sustainability has grown dramatically over the past decade and a half,” said David Blitzer, managing director…
Heineken Light can

Heineken USA Takes Sustainability Seriously

It’s not a small thing for a company with almost 500 employees, eight offices, over 20 beers and ciders in its portfolio, and…
solar freezer_unilever

Shining Hot to Get It Cold: Unilever Tests Solar-Powered Freezers

The freezers being tested in Central Park operate free of electricity — vendors can even charge their own mobile devices by plugging them…
coverpic_toolkitforresilient cities (640x348)

How Cities Can Battle Climate Change with Resiliency Planning

“We can’t predict the next disruption or catastrophe. But we can control how we respond to these challenges. We can adapt to the…
Tennis Courts

Longfellow Clubs Cuts Its Footprint and Engages Its Community

Longfellow Sports Clubs in Massachusetts managed to cut its footprint through a few retrofits, while engaging its community around sustainability.
Most families in Maungu have no electricity or water. Providing small loans for items such as solar lamps and rain water harvesting tanks is one way that micro-finance organizations can experiment to better serve the poor.

Making the Case for Nonprofits in Microfinance

Microfinance has reached a stage in its lifecycle where it has become more stable as a financial inclusion tool, but with that stability…