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SustainAbility Newsletter

The Risks for Businesses Who Don

CokeThe concept behind sustainability is as simple as it is compelling: resources may only be used at a rate at which they can be replenished.

When most people see the word "resources," they think immediately of natural resources. But in order to thrive, businesses actually need three types of resources: environmental (e.g., natural resources), social (including employees, customers and general societal goodwill) and economic (money).

In fact, these three factors comprise a common definition of business sustainability: increasing short- and long-term profitability by holistically managing economic, social and environmental risks and opportunities.

This definition is relevant both in times of recession and during economic growth periods, because the main drivers of sustainability don't change. These three factors have been the drivers of business success since mankind has been engaged in business endeavors. While sustainability may seem to run counter to the profit-maximizing doctrine of running a company, the concept of creating sustainable business processes is increasingly seen as a key to long-term success. 

Organizations can work toward sustainability in many ways, but to be truly effective sustainability initiatives cannot stand alone. They must transform the organization as a whole. This takes individual and coordinated efforts from all segments of a company.

Look at Sustainability Strategically

Nike, Coca-Cola, and Nestle are examples of companies that go about this strategically. They have figured out that if you do not change the way you operate -- and the way your supply chain operates -- you're potentially putting your entire business model at risk. They know that risk encompasses more than financial risk. If a company loses its societal mandate to do business then it faces as much risk as if it were struggling financially.

Nestle understands that to continue making very high-quality food products requires a planet that can produce a reliable supply of natural products. Its "Creating Shared Value" approach focuses on specific areas of the company's core business activities -- water, nutrition, and rural development.
Coca-Cola has been very aggressive around water development and protection, both for agriculture as well as in communities. Although the company does not own farms, it realizes that it has "significant opportunities within its global supply chain to develop and encourage more sustainable practices to benefit suppliers, customers and consumers."

Nike, which relies heavily on globally outsourced manufacturing operations, is working to increase its focus on sustainable business and innovation. It is integrating the concept across its business strategies to create a more sustainable approach aimed at providing greater returns to the company's business, communities, contract factory workers, consumers and the planet.


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References and Sources used in this issue of SustainAbility Newsletter Include:

Audubon Lifestyles
www.audubonlifestyles.com

The International Sustainability Council
www.thesustainabilitycouncil.org  

The Reserve at Lake Keowee
www.thereserveatlakekeowee.com

The Old Collier Club
www.theoldcolliergc.com

The Rim Golf Club
www.therimgolfclub.com

Golfpreserves
www.golfcourseproject.com

Coke
www.coke.com

 

Energy Star
www.energystar.gov 

The Village of Blume
www.taylorpropertiesgroup.edu 

Taylor Properties Group
www.taylorpropertiesgrp.com  

Nike
www.nike.com

National Geographic
www.nationalgeographic.com 

American Society of Golf Course Architects
www.asgca.org

The United States Golf Association (USGA)
www.usga.org

    

SustainAbility Newsletter Archive Article (random)

Saving Resources

Reuse

Most of the materials that go into making what we use -- from airplanes to toilet paper -- are made from nonrenewable resources that are being rapidly depleted. U.S. reserves of oil, aluminum ore, and iron ore are disappearing. At today's rates of consumption, world copper reserves will be depleted in less than 100 years.

What you can do
Recycle materials you use- Recycling saves resources, decreases the use of toxic chemicals, cuts energy use, helps curb global warming, stems the flow of water and air pollution, and reduces the need for landfills and incinerators. Make an effort to participate fully in your town's or your building's recycling program. If there's no recycling program where you live, encourage local officials to start one. If you have a recycling program where you live, work to expand it. In the meantime, learn where you can take items such as paper, cardboard, glass, aluminum, plastic, and tires to be recycled, then take your recycling there.

Buy recycled products- Look on the label for the products or packaging with the greatest percentage of post-consumer recycled content, which ensures that a percentage of materials have been used before. Try to buy paper products that have more than 50 percent post-consumer content.

Compost- Composting reduces the burden on overflowing landfills and gives you a great natural fertilizer for plants and gardens. Buy a composting kit at a garden supply or hardware store. Start with yard trimmings, fruit and vegetable food scraps, and coffee grounds.

Buy products with less packaging- A large percentage of the paper, cardboard, and plastic we use goes into packaging -- much of it wasteful and unnecessary. When you buy a product, look at the packaging and ask: Can it be reused? Is it made of post-consumer recycled materials? Is it necessary at all? Reward those companies that are most enlightened about their use of packaging by purchasing their products. Contact companies that overpackage and tell them you will be more likely to buy if they eliminate unnecessary packaging.

Use durable goods- Bring your own cloth bags to local stores. Replace plastic and paper cups with ceramic mugs, disposable razors with reusable ones. Refuse unneeded plastic utensils, napkins, and straws when you buy takeout foods. Use a cloth dishrag instead of paper towels at home, and reusable food containers instead of aluminum foil and plastic wrap.


Fast Facts

  • Each person throws away on average four pounds of garbage every day.
  • The energy we save when we recycle one glass bottle is enough to light a traditional light bulb for four hours.
  • One gallon of motor oil can contaminate up to 2 million gallons of water, so please dispose of used oil properly!

PDF

 
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE ENTIRE NEWSLETTER IN PDF FORMAT

References and Sources used in this issue of SustainAbility Newsletter Include:

Audubon Lifestyles
www.audubonlifestyles.com

The International Sustainability Council
www.thesustainabilitycouncil.org

Home Yard Waste Compost Guide
http://www.compostguide.com/

The US Environmental Protection Agency
www.epa.gov/compost

Landscape Lighting
A Consumer Guide to Low Voltage Outdoor Lighting
http://www.sitelights.com/

Solar Light Store
http://www.solarlightstore.com/

Saving Natural Resources
Natural Resources Defense Council
www.nrdc.org

Organic Farming
Organic Farming Research Foundation
www.ofrf.org

National Agricultural Library
www.nal.usda.gov

Local Government & the Environment
Project Vote Smart
www.votesmart.org

Audubon Today
Audubon International
www.auduboninternational.org

    

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A Coalition for Good - Spreading the Seeds of Sustainability

ISC-Audubon is a coalition of non-profit organizations and initiatives that include The International Sustainability Council (ISC), Audubon Lifestyles, Audubon Outdoors, Planit Green, Broadcast Audubon, and the Audubon Network for Sustainability. 

Funds generated through memberships and donations are used to provide fruit & vegetable seeds, wildflower seed mix, and wildlife feed & birdseed to urban and suburban communities around the world. These seeds are used by communities to establish fruit and vegetable gardens, bird and wildlife sanctuaries, and for the beautification of urban and suburban landscapes by creating flower and native plant gardens.

Read more