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

car-up

Apple Skin Skies: The Fragile Reality of Global Warming Perception

Apple Skin Skies examines the idea that our atmosphere is thin relative to the size of the planet and the number of humans…
feat-mckinsey

Will McKinsey’s ‘Business of Sustainability’ Report Elevate the Triple Bottom Line?

McKinsey has a unique ability to frame a conversation.  During the last decade when a price on greenhouse gases seemed imminent, every Fortune…
mindless consumerism

Mindless: Marketing an Unsustainable Future

Along with population growth, excessive consumption is our society’s greatest threat, and the constant stream of manipulative messages permeating our consciousness is only…
front.barosso_2

NGO Collaboration Required For Strong Corporate CSR

Environmental NGOs have often been perceived as anti-business, anti-growth, tree-loving, bunny-huggers. However, they have evolved to become organized, structured and strategic. Instead of…
gri_logo_2006_b

GRI to Ensure Sustainability Reporting in Listed Companies

GRI recently released a report on why sustainability reporting is important for listed companies. At a recent event hosted by the Shangai Stock…
Photo courtesy of SanFranciscoSentinel.com.

President Obama Retracted EPA Ozone Standards. Would You?

According to the EPA, ground-level ozone and the smog it helps produce is responsible for human health problems such as emphysema, asthma, bronchitis,…
Levi's label, courtesy WikiCommons

Levi’s Ditches Experience on Path Towards Water Savings

Erik Joule, Levi’s senior vice president of design and licensing, explained the path towards ramping up water efficiency throughout the company's operations.
That's a lot of mad workers!

Chinese Factory Riots Show Solar Isn’t Always Sustainable

Recent riots at a solar panel factory in China should be seen as a dire reminder to the international business community and political…
feat-nike

Nike’s Road To Integrating Innovation and Sustainability

Nike and its VP of Sustainable Business and Innovation, Hannah Jones, are turning the idea of how to approach sustainability on its head.
3p1 - blowfish

Your Boss’s “BOS” – Blue Ocean Strategy

Blue Ocean Strategy(BOS) is a fabulous book filled with tools and insights on how to run a successful business by steering away from…
Philippe

Philippe Cousteau: From Grant-Seeker to Grantmaker and Fund Creator

Philippe Cousteau, grandson of famed oceanographer Jacques Cousteau, aimed to accomplish two goals when he spoke at SXSW Eco last week. First, he…
feat-method

The Seven Obsessions Behind Method

Method emerged as a strong competitor to established CPG giants in 10 years. From scrappy startup to a $100 million brand, Method grown…
feat-patagonia

Patagonia Asks Its Customers to ‘Buy Less’ and Boosts Customer Base

Asking your customers to buy less of your product is never a good sales strategy but that is exactly what Patagonia is doing.…
AA8573

Contaminated “Tule Fog” is Making a Mess of California’s Central Valley

Five months out of the year, from November thru March, the California Central Valley experiences a mix of airborne toxins that exacerbate an…
potatoes, soon to be washed by recycled water and turned into chips

Frito-Lay Opens “Near Net Zero” Plant in Arizona

Frito-Lay reopens what will be a “near net zero” plant. The factory will run of mostly renewable energy, operate significantly with recycled water,…