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

Can Aspirationals’ Idea of Sustainable Consumption Bring a Better Future?

The new Aspirational Consumer Index offers a fresh glimpse into the rise of the Aspirationals, more than a third of the consumers worldwide…

Four Leaders Share How to Manage Sustainability Metrics

The metrics used to measure an organization's non-financial performance present a churning assortment of evolving standards. At the recent Sustainable Brands “New Metrics…

Sweden, Sustainability and the Future

Sweden is a sustainability and renewable energy pioneer, far out in front of most other countries, but countries are now looking to follow…

The Well-Rounded, Green MBA

What are the lessons our future leaders need to experience before they take the helm of the world’s most impactful organizations? In addition…

Resilient Communities Incentivize Businesses to Focus on Climate Change

Eric Smith, CEO of Swiss Re Americas, discusses the risk associated with climate change, calling upon business to take a primary role in…

Food Waste Has a Big Impact on Climate, Water, Land and Biodiversity

The carbon footprint of food produced and not eaten is estimated at 3.3 billion tons of greenhouse gases: making food wastage the world's…

General Mills’ Big Sustainable Sourcing Commitment

General Mills (GM) has announced that it will be making changes to how it harvests and packages 10 of the top ingredients that…

Professional Sports Teams Win Big on Sustainability

Thirteen percent of people follow science, while over 63 percent follow sports. The sports industry has a unique opportunity to influence trends in…

Women and Sustainability in Politics: Embrace Crisis and Reframe Shame

The Women’s Network for a Sustainable Future recently hosted a powerful discussion on women and sustainability in politics. Moderated by Darcy Winslow, Managing…

Big Bucks for NextGen Aviation and Alternative Jet Fuels

The Federal Aviation Administration joined with a group of universities to run a new Air Transportation Center of Excellence (COE) for alternate jet…

Walking the Tightrope: How to Avoid Green Marketing Nightmares

Promoting the environmental or sustainability improvements of a product or service can be a tricky high-wire act that can give marketing professionals nightmares.…

Unilever and SAP: Raising the Corporate Bar in Africa

In contrast with the history of western corporations laying waste to African villages, modern-day companies SAP and Unilever are thriving in Africa -…

Air Canada’s CSR Marks Progress on Safety, Environment

Safety, the environment, the well-being of employees, and community involvement are the cornerstones of Air Canada's sustainability strategy.

SOCAP: Leaving an Impact After You’re Gone

Premal Shah, President of Kiva.org, summed up the week at SOCAP13: “If everything you do, you do for yourself, then when you die…

Sustainability Drivers for Small/Mid-sized Companies

What drives small and mid-sized companies (SMEs) to incorporate sustainable practices into their business? Knowing the answers to this question will aid trade…