Monday, May 17, 2010

Sustainability is an Unstoppable Megatrend


Sustainability is not a passing fad or a marketing gimmick, it is a worldwide movement that is changing the way we do business. Sustainability entails continued development or growth, without significant deterioration of the environment and depletion of natural resources on which human well-being depends. This definition measures income as flow of goods and services that an economy can generate indefinitely without reducing its natural productive capacity.

Sustainability is more than a trend, a trend reflects a pattern of gradual change in a condition, output, or process, or an average or general tendency of a series of data points to move in a certain direction over time, represented by a line or curve on a graph. The term megatrend was popularized by John Naisbitt in his 1982 bestseller "Megatrends". Rather than being a function of a series of data points, the term megatrend reflects a general shift in thinking or approach affecting entire countries, industries, and organizations.

In the May 2010 issue of Harvard Business Review there is a feature article titled ‘The Sustainability Imperative’. The feature is written by David Lubin from the Sustainability Network and Daniel Esty from Yale University. Together they argue that sustainability is the next transformational business megatrend comparable to mass production, manufacturing quality movement, IT revolution, and globalization.

The authors suggest firms seeking to gain a competitive advantage must know what to do and how to do it. With many already onboard businesses must act now, as this unstoppable megatrend will make or break companies around the world.

Although we are still at a relatively early stage of the sustainability megatrend, it can be expected to continue to grow exponentially.
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Next: Sustainable Business Methods, Strategy, Management and Reporting / Sustainable Successes and Failures

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