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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A Tale of Two Friedmans: CSR and Risk

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Belgium-Based Ecover Acquires Method to Create Largest Green Cleaning Company

Belgium-based Ecover acquires San Francisco-based Method to create the world's largest green cleaning company.

How Energy Efficiency Strategy Pays Off in Grand Rapids

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The State of Sustainable Development According to Professionals

A recent survey asks sustainable development professionals what they think about current progress. Here's what they said.

Global Food Companies Desperately Require Supply Chain Upgrades

Only 25% of the 12 largest food conglomerates in the world have sufficient codes of conduct to manage their supply chains.

EPA and P&G Research New Tools for Measuring Sustainability Objectives

The US EPA and P&G has joined together to research new tools for measuring sustainability objectives that goes beyond supplier scorecards.

Using Your Company’s Environmental Awareness as a Selling Point

Here are some helpful tips on how your company's environmental awareness can be a big plus to your business.

MillerCoors Reports 100 Million Gallon Reduction in Water Consumption

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How U.S. Telecom Giants Are Becoming More Sustainable

Sprint Nextel is the top wireless provider for sustainability, according to a new study by Verdantix.

The New “Unique Selling Proposition” for Sustainability

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Sustainability at Red Lobster and the Olive Garden

Last week, Darden Restaurants, Inc., the umbrella corporation for restaurant chains such as Red Lobster, Olive Garden, and LongHorn Steakhouse, released its 2012…

Cornell Establishes Sustainable Seafood in the Ivy League

In recent years, several food businesses like Costco, Shaw’s, Walmart, and Safeway have been knuckling down on sustainable seafood programs and product labeling…

Starbucks’ Extra Shot of Energy (Efficiency)

Starbucks is hosting an energy efficiency competition among ten of its own stores to see who can cut electricity use the most in…