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

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Kohl’s in the LEED with Energy Efficiency and a More Sustainable Supply Chain

This week Kohl’s issued its first annual corporate social responsibility (CSR) report, which discusses the company's energy efficiency and green building efforts.
CNN

The Truth Will Out: Mainstream Media is Starting to Notice

Sustainability and CSR are no longer confined to niche publications or blogs. While traditional green or sustainability related online news sources (such as Triple…
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It’s Biodegradable! Or is it? How to Distinguish the Green from the Greenwash: Part II

One can categorize ecolabels in a number of ways: who issues them, whether they apply to the entire company or just specific products,…
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McKinsey: Solar Costs Could Drop 70% by 2020

McKinsey says solar is will be highly cost-competitive by 2020.
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MIT Study Shows that Sustainability is Profitable

MIT issued its third annual Sustainability and Innovation Global Executive Study, which reveals a strong causation and correlation between sustainability and profits.
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Five Questions Supply Chain Managers Should Be Asking

Supply chain leaders can make some improvements around sustainability - here are the first five steps.

How to Distinguish the Green from the Greenwash

I walked into the pet store and asked for biodegradable poop bags, and the clerk pointed me to some bags hanging in a…
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What Green Consumer Polls Should Really Be Asking

There is a disconnect between the results of green polls and sales numbers. What should green surveys really be asking?
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Safeway, Whole Foods Top Greenpeace Seafood Ratings

Safeway and Whole Foods tops the list of Greenpeace's rating of sustainable seafood retailers.
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Nike Challenges Customers to Design Their Own Virtual Green Athletic Wear

Nike has just released its most recent sustainability report, an interactive site that allows visitors to create their own green athletic wear.
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Finding Your Place in the Bioeconomy Blueprint

Last week, President Obama laid out an ambitious plan to channel scientific innovation into economic growth, called the National Bioeconomy Blueprint. The Blueprint…
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How to Start Implementing Sustainability Practices in Your Business

How to get started on implementing sustainable business practices.
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AB InBev: A Lean, Mean, Water-Efficient Brewing Machine

Last week Anheuser-Busch InBev released its 2011 corporate social responsibility report, which focuses on waste diversion and water stewardship.
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As Earth Month Winds Down, Honest Tea Recycles Old Facebook Posts

Last week Honest Tea launched a Facebook app that may just encourage you and your peers to recycle in a partnership with Recyclebank.
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Lockheed Ahead of Go Green Commitments

Lockheed Martin met or exceeded its five-year sustainability goals in 2011.