Sustainability 101


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Sustainability 101

  1. 1. Sustainability 101
  2. 2. Content History of Sustainability Triple Bottom Line Dimensions of Sustainability Sustainability in Business Sustainability in Academics Sustainability at UNT      
  3. 3. • Sustainability concerns emerged in the 1980s as a response to growing realizations about social, economic and environmental issues. • Timeline • Events leading up to the emergence of sustainability: • 1962 - Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” • 1970 - Clean Air Act • 1973 - Endangered Species Act • 1978 - Love Canal • 1983 - Brundtland Commission History of Sustainability
  4. 4. Brundtland Commission • Origin of concept of sustainable development as a process • Academic, administrative and political effort put forth to define sustainability resulted in: “Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” History of Sustainability
  5. 5. Holistic Approach  Incorporates a higher level of responsibility and generates returns in profits from three dimensions; social, environmental, and economic Three P’s of the Triple Bottom Line  People  Planet  Profit Triple Bottom Line
  6. 6. In addition to expanding traditional accounting practices, the Triple Bottom Line also seeks to understand how the three dimensions of sustainability affect each other Triple Bottom Line
  7. 7. Environmental Sustainability • Includes issues of environmental stewardship, natural resources, climate change, renewable energy and related fields • Seeks to promote the responsible use of natural resources to ensure a healthy life and longevity for future generations 3 Dimensions of Sustainability
  8. 8. Social Sustainability • Addresses the ability of a social system to function over time • Incorporates issues of human rights, corporate responsibility, and resource access • Focuses on relating individuals’ behavior to attitudes, and well-being to create sustainable social systems 3 Dimensions of Sustainability
  9. 9. Economic Sustainability • Encourages the responsible use of resources • Considers both environmental and social impacts of operational behavior • Focuses on increasing profitability from investing in long term sustainable practices, i.e. renewable energy 3 Dimensions of Sustainability
  10. 10. Funding is available through local and federal government agencies, businesses and research institutions, some of which include:  EPA – Funds Sustainability research and projects  Department of Energy – Offers funding or private sector sustainability  NCTCOG (North Central Texas Council of Governments) – Sustainable Development Funding Program for private/public transportation improvement  Coca Cola – Offers 52 sustainability grants to countries around the world Funding for Sustainability Initiatives
  11. 11. Businesses across the world are making use of Triple Bottom Line accounting to increase their sustainability  Pepsi Co. - Has committed to improve water efficiency by 20% by 2015  Nike - Incorporated a sustainable design initiative to use environmentally preferred materials and eliminate toxins in products  IKEA - Renewable energy makes up 34% of energy used Sustainability in Business
  12. 12. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) • Along with the growth of global markets, concern for a broader concept of sustainability has developed in the business world. • The CSR and sustainable development agenda are becoming increasingly prominent for companies and governments. Marketing • Customers, whether in the private or public sectors, tend to favor organizations that are perceived to be more sustainable. Sustainability in Business
  13. 13. Entrepreneurship • Focuses on identifying opportunities for creating valuable products and services and a profitable business • Promotes sustainable living and environmental improvements Sustainable entrepreneurship involves: • Searching for opportunities to alleviate social, environmental and economic conditions • More efficient use of energy and natural resources to create products and services Sustainability in Business
  14. 14. Business Resources • In addition to tool and solutions provided by numerous sustainability consulting firms, businesses can improve their sustainability through various resources and programs to include: U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Sustainability in Business
  15. 15. Sustainability in Campus Programs & Curriculum • Many colleges and universities use their capabilities of education and outreach to promote sustainability on- campus and in the surrounding community through: Recycling programs and contests (Recyclemania) Green funds for projects that will improve campus sustainability Development of a council or committees to plan and implement sustainability initiatives Collaborative research in sustainability topics Sustainability curriculum Sustainability in Academics
  16. 16. Campus Sustainability Resources & Metrics • American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) Effort to create a network of colleges and universities working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions & boost sustainability initiatives • Clean Air, Cool Planet (CA-CP) Campus Carbon Calculator • Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) Conference presentations Case study database Publications Sustainability in Academics
  17. 17. UNT Sustainability • Created in 2009 to uphold UNT’s sustainability commitment • Works with the Sustainability Council, UNT administration and other campus departments • Approaches sustainability through R.O.O.T.S. Research Outreach Operations Teaching Students Sustainability at UNT
  18. 18. AASHE - ACUPCC - USGBC North Texas - NCTCOG - EPA - Our Common Future (Brundtland Report) - ocf.htm • Goodland, Robert. “The Concept of Environmental Sustainability.” Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics , Vol. 26, (1995), pp. 1-24. • Goodland, Robert and Herman Daly. “Environmental Sustainability: Universal and Non-Negotiable.” Ecological Applications , Vol. 6, No. 4 (Nov., 1996), pp. 1002-1017. • Scoones, Ian. “Sustainability.” Development in Practice , Vol. 17, No. 4/5 (Aug., 2007), pp. 589-596. • Marrewijk, Marcel van and Marco Were. “Multiple levels of Corporate Sustainability.” Journal of Business Ethics , Vol. 44, No. 2/3, Corporate Sustainability Conference 2002: The Impact of CSR on Management Disciplines (May, 2003), pp. 107-119. Additional Resources & Suggested Readings
  19. 19. For additional questions regarding sustainability, please contact Lauren Helixon at