Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Sustainable Business as Defined by Paul Hawken

In business sustainability involves living within certain limits, understanding interconnections (economy, society, and environment) and an equitable distribution of resources and opportunities. Perhaps the best definition for sustainability as it applies to business comes from Paul Hawken. According to Hawken*, sustainable businesses is defined as follows:
  • Replace nationally and internationally produced items with products created locally and regionally.
  • Take responsibility for the effects they have on the natural world.
  • Do not require exotic sources of capital in order to develop and grow.
  • Engage in production processes that are human, worthy, dignified, and intrinsically satisfying.
  • Create objects of durability and long-term utility whose ultimate use or disposition will not be harmful to future generations.
  • Change consumers to customers through education.
*The Ecology of Commerce. (New York, New York: Harper Business, 1993), p 144.

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