Should ‘Sustainability’ Be Banned?

29 08 2013

Green Printer Online Dispatch

Is the oft-used term “sustainability” now just an empty buzz word? The Guardian seems to think so. Or at least one of the contributors to the site’s Green Blog does.

Blog writer Doug King argues that because companies now use the idea of sustainability as “just another tick-box” to show they are no worse than any of their competitors, the term has lost its efficacy.

“As with many aspects of business, the innovators and early adopters have a clear understanding of what they are doing and why. However, by the time that new practice features in business handbooks, it has become a fad that must be followed in order to maintain market share,” he says.

And because the term is so closely associated with the trendy concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR), the word is not only ineffective but actually doing harm to the cause.

In King’s mind, the idea of CSR was that companies considered their actions, what sort of impact they would have on the world around them and made decisions based on that analysis. But because CSR has become a fad, companies aren’t truly concerned about creating a positive impact—instead, their goal is to meet just another minimum set of requirements to keep them competitive.

And while that’s a decent point, does intention matter all that much as long as some progress is being made?

 



 


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