Business What is Sustainability? The Business Edition

Published on July 8th, 2013 | by Jeff McIntire-Strasburg

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What is Sustainability? The Business Edition

Over the past 10 years, I’ve answered a lot of questions about environmental topics from people. While topics ranging from solar power to electric cars to how to remember your reusable shopping bags come up frequently, the question I hear most – still – is “What is sustainability?” I’ve always gone to the Brundtland Commission‘s definition – it’s easy enough to remember – but, as Jonathan T. Scott points out in the video below, the term has over 300 definitions… so context is everything!

Scott (whose work we’ve featured before) is a business professor, so that’s his context… and, as you’ll see in his 20 minute lecture, sustainability makes a lot of sense for businesses. Ultimately, it comes down to reducing waste, because waste represents expenses that can’t be recovered. Imagine telling your investors that a given percentage of their investment will simply be thrown away… you can imagine the response. Scott makes a compelling case for stronger environmental protection and resource management from the entities that, traditionally, have viewed such matters as external to their core missions.

Take the time to watch the full presentation below, and then share your thoughts…




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About the Author

Jeff McIntire-Strasburg is the founder and editor of sustainablog. You can keep up with all of his writing at Facebook, and at



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