Sustainability

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

johnson-products_x

SC Johnson Studies Sustainable Consumer Behavior

SC Johnson is taking a radical new approach to sustainability by studying consumer behavior to figure out what makes people 'go green.'
Rio de Janeiro at night

Dispatch from Rio: Great(er) Expectations

I've been in Rio de Janeiro for six days now for the Rio+20 Earth Summit, and something struck me this morning as I…
Gestation crates

Three Reasons Farm Animal Welfare is an Important CSR Tenet For the Food Industry

When we think about corporate social responsibility, we might think of waste and emissions reductions, recycling programs, or maybe fair wages. In recent…
Wikimedia_CC_James G. Howes

Brazil Officials Close World’s Largest Open Trash Site in Advance of Rio+20

The world's largest open-air trash site, Jardim Gramacho in Rio de Janeiro, closed over the weekend. Gases from decomposing waste at the shut-down…
pwc_x

PwC Offers Companies New Ways to Measure Sustainability Initiatives

One of the most difficult challenges companies face is how to properly evaluate sustainability initiatives. Since some important benefits sustainability offers are intangible…
800px-Rio+20_logo

Road to Rio: KPMG Releases Essential Business Guide to Rio+20

Over 50,000 participants from governments, businesses, NGOs and lobby groups are planning to attend this week's highly anticipated Rio+20 United Nations Conference on…
feat-aruba

Rio+20: Aruba To Turn Off the Fossil Fuel Switch

Aruba’s government, led by Prime Minister Mike Eman, announced this afternoon at the Rio+20 Conference that the country is partnering with the Carbon…
Untitled_catbagan

Kaiser Permanente: Climate Change Threatens Health Mission

Climate change a threat to health care’s basic mission—delivering health.
feat-hp

HP Reduces Product Energy Consumption by 50% Compared to 2005

Hewlett-Packard, the world’s largest provider of information technology infrastructure, software, services, and solutions, released its eleventh annual Global Citizenship Report this past week.…

Making Rum Production More Sustainable

Rum production produces rather nasty wastewater which needs to be disposed of some how. The Serrallés Rum Distillery in Ponce, Puerto Rico produces…
SB12 logo

Interview: Annie Longsworth on Making Sustainability “Irresistible”

What's would it mean to make sustainability "irresistible"? Saatchi & Saatchi S CEO Annie Longsworth says it means to make businesses, shareholders, investors…
Intel_Logo

Intel Reduces GHG Emissions by 60% Under 2007 Baseline

Intel, a world leader in computing innovation, has provided public reports on its environmental, health and safety performance since 1994 and produced an…
GRI_crop

New Program to Boost Sustainable Business in Developing Countries Launched at Rio+20

UNGC and GRI join together to launch a new program at Rio+20 to boost sustainable business in developing countries.
img-csr-site-2012homepage_161624417965

How Dr. Pepper Snapple Group Does Good Things with Flavor

Dr. Pepper Snapple Group released it's 2011 CSR report - how'd they fare?
vivant beer_x

Brewery Vivant: The First LEED-Certified Microbrewery in the U.S.

Brewery Vivant presents a locally sourced menu and craft beer in a can to Grand Rapids. Brewery Vivant opened in December 2010 as…