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

Volcom’s Sustainability Initiative Turns Fishing Nets into Bikinis

Lost fishing nets are a dangerous threat to fish, marine mammals, sea turtles and other types of marine life that become entangled in…

Climate Change: Americans Are Getting Pushed Out of Their Homes

As glaciers melt and sea levels rise, the people of America have no other choice but to move inland, away from a place…

Bicycles Are Good for Business, Your Body and the Planet

After warming up to the health perks of cycling to work, freelance writer Daphne Standford decided to explore other ways in which bikes…

Clif Bar Proves That Corporate Social Responsibility Can Win Customers

Clif Bar demonstrates the business case that a company can achieve superior financial results simply by meeting consumer expectations for a healthful product…

‘Green Giants’ Prove That Sustainability Sells

In her new book, "Green Giants," Freya Williams makes the business case for sustainability and profiles nine companies with green products that achieve…

GRI Standards Push Momentum for Global Sustainable Development

On Wednesday, the GRI announced the launch of the world’s first Global Reporting Standards for sustainability reporting. These new standards give businesses large and…

How to Create and Integrate a Sustainability Strategy

A well-crafted sustainability strategy can unlock growth and improve business performance in companies of all sizes.

Why You Need A Sustainability Strategy

Your company needs a sustainability strategy, no matter how big or small that company may be. Corporate responsibility expert Chris Librie explains why.

Do Consumers Really Want What They Say They Want?

Globally, the sustainable packaging market is expected to hit $244 billion by 2018. While this number reflects activities across a variety of industries,…

U.S. Pumps $30 Million More Into Hydrogen Economy

The U.S. Energy Department is betting big on the sustainable hydrogen economy of the future, with a new round of $30 million in…

Wastewater System Design Can Create a More Sustainable Office

Wastewater doesn’t need to be wasted. In fact, there are many potential uses for a wastewater system that can have a positive impact…

‘Too Little, Too Late’ from APP on Sustainability

Three years after launching a well-publicized sustainability campaign, Asia Pulp & Paper is building a $3 billion pulp mill without a sustainable wood…

Pitch Perfect: Fostering Local Talent Makes Clean Cookstoves More Popular

BioLite employs 40 tenacious local sales agents in emerging markets who can captivate a crowd with their personalized pitches. Thanks to these in-person…

Hydrogen Economy Gets Real: Renewable Power for Rail Transportation

The hydrogen economy dream is getting closer to reality in the transportation sector, as France's Alstom launches fuel cell trains to replace diesel.

The New ‘Plastics and Sustainability’ Report: Greenwash or Wake-Up Call?

There is no disputing that plastic has brought positive benefits to our economy. But the single-use, throw-away application of so many plastic products…