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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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,…
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Coca Cola UK Marks 50th Anniversary with Zero Waste

Along with making significant reductions in energy and water losses, multinational beverages giant Coca-Cola Enterprises announced that waste from all its UK plants…
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The Electric Car Branding Trick Even Nissan’s LEAF is Missing

In the past ten years, environmentally friendly cars have become a fixture in advertising. First came the Prius. Then BMW claimed its electric batteries boost…

Weinreb Group Report: The Rise of the Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO)

The title of Chief Sustainability Officer is a relatively new one—the first CSO of a publicly traded company, Linda Fisher of DuPont, was…
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Greening for Survival, And the Bottom Line

By Ashok Kamal For decades, it has been clear that a better understanding of sustainability is necessary to ensure humanity’s survival. Now the…
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Aspen Institute Releases List of Top Green MBA Degrees

The Aspen Institute recently released their annual list of top business schools that offer sustainable MBAs. According to Beyond Grey Pinstripes, a biennial survey:…
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PUMA’s Re-Suede Melds 70’s Retro With Modern Sustainability

PUMA's Suede has been re-birthed with the company's introduction last week of the “Re-Suede,” redesigned with mostly recycled materials.
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Somalian Famine Highlights the Need for Urgent Sustainable Development

In 1984, when the world was assaulted with terrible pictures of famine coming out of Ethiopia, several original charity singles like We are…

Four Fuel Alternatives That Have Been Overlooked

For decades we’ve taken advantage of our natural supplies and just ignored the fact that one day, we will run out. Now, we…

Immigration Reform: The Missing Piece of the CSR Puzzle

This article offers insight into how some corporations are fueling US unemployment rates by increasing the hiring rate of legal and illegal immigrant…

Andrew Winston Joins PwC as Independent Sustainability Advisor

On September 1, PwC announced that they retained sustainability expert Andrew Winston as an independent Sustainability Advisor. Winston is the founder of Winston…

How-to Guide for Manufacturer Sustainability

Deciding to operate in sustainable and socially responsible manner is one thing, but for many companies, knowing how to achieve that goal is…
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The Gates Foundation Invests in GMO Research in Africa

The Gates Foundation is normally known for its work eradicating malaria and polio through innovative methods. Recently however, it has joined hands with…

Five Bold Ideas on Employment to Supplement the American Jobs Act

By Richard J. Crespin Last week, President Obama laid out a modest plan to nudge job growth. I don’t fault his modesty.  Given…
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Despite CSR Weaknesses, H&M is Biggest Buyer of Organic Cotton

H&M has recently overtaken Walmart as the biggest buyer of organic cotton. The global market for organic cotton grew by 20% and H&M…