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

  • Canada_electric_car_Ontario_PlugnDrive
    With one to one swipe movement!
  • Monsanto, Roundup, glyphosate, USDA, EPA, WHO, IARC, cancer, Leon Kaye,
    With one to one swipe movement!
  • Homeless Airbnb Listing
    With one to one swipe movement!
  • Elvia Almachi, 32, holds a bundle of recently harvested Fair Trade-certified roses. Elvia has been working at Agrogana for 12 years, and has been part of the Fair Trade committee. She has two daughters, 9 and 12. Elvia and her husband Luis Alberto Villegas, also an Agrogana employee, both participate in the weekend adult school program paid by the Fair Trade Premium.
    With one to one swipe movement!
  • oil rig
    With one to one swipe movement!
  • La Limonada
    With one to one swipe movement!
  • BP gas station
    With one to one swipe movement!
  • rhino_dr_jacques_flamand_WWF
    With one to one swipe movement!
  • Volvo, sustainability, fuel efficiency, hybrid, alternative fuels, electric hybrid bus, Climate Savers Program, CDP, Leon Kaye
    With one to one swipe movement!
  • MSC promo
    With one to one swipe movement!
Prev Next

How Incubators Will Help Start-Ups Lead the Clean Tech Revolution

As foreshadowed by GE’s Ecomagination reach-out to start-ups, it is expected that start-ups and not large corporations will lead the clean tech revolution.…

Why Gamblers Could be Great Advocates for Sustainability

As a student in CCA’s MBA in Design Strategy program learning to apply human-centric design thinking to create sustainable innovations, I became curious…

The Real Payback on Green Job Training Programs

Analysts with no field experience can paint a very bleak picture of the green job market and related training programs. In reality, hard…
perpetual motion

The Economics of Perpetual Growth

Can economic growth be sustainably achieved? The short answer appears to be no. At least, not in our economy's current incarnation. But this…

Using Social Media to Promote Energy Efficiency and Sustainability Programs in the City of Berkeley

The following case study is part of a project by MPA students at the Presidio Graduate School on information management technology and policy.…
green status symbol

Green as a Status Symbol: Why Increased Prices May Increase Sales

This post is part of a blogging series by economics students at the Presidio Graduate School’s MBA program. You can follow along here.…

Can We Make Climate Change Sizzle?

While waiting in the train station on my way out of San Francisco International Airport I noticed a group of business-casual people arriving…

Levi Strauss & Co. Proposes Radical New Standards for Apparel Industry

In a speech to be delivered today at the CERES annual conference, Levi Strauss & Co. CEO and President John Anderson will urge…

Old Is New Again: Nike’s Push Towards Sustainable Advertising

As a business owner and partner in a creative shop here in Oregon with a decade of experience in marketing and advertising in…

Sustainable Agriculture and the Future of Food: Views from the Prince of Wales

By Susan Nickbarg Food Supply. Health. Economic Security. Malnutrition. Obesity. Local Agriculture. Sustainability. What’s in common to link all these words? Sustainable Agriculture.…

Bloomberg’s Sustainability Edge

Back in 2009, the media and financial services company Bloomberg launched what TriplePundit called a “ground-breaking data service” in corporate social responsibility. The…
Environmental Balance

Bolivian Government Recognizes Importance of Balance in Sustainability

By Cooper Swanson Balance is an essential aspect of sustainability.  This is all-too-often overlooked, although English lexicon is full of phrases such as…

Sustaining Traditions for Sustainability

Although I was born in Redwood City, California, the first eight years of my life took place in a small town 45 minutes…
Green Designer

Are you a Green Designer?

Eight years ago I had my first opportunity to engage as a product designer when I worked on an industrial meat grinder. My…
Making Ideas Happen

Building Your Personal Business Model

I am a dreamer. I love imagining new possibilities and often find myself asking the "what-ifs?". Having spent the past 5+ years working…