Sustainability--the latest trend sweeping the nation--has businesses wondering if the challenges of implementing sustainability practices fiscally outweigh future opportunities for profit margin growth. The answer is a resounding no. According to one author, “[s]ustainability is not only about risk containment” (Menzies, 2008) it concerns changing the way businesses function interdependently in the pursuit of working harmoniously with nature. “Consumers' environmental, ethical and social concerns…mean that their definitions of quality extend to products' lives before and after their use” (Menzies, 2008). Implementing sustainability practices can only point these resistant corporations in the greener direction: economically and ecologically speaking.
Sustainability, a “term used to describe a positive movement towards environmental accountability and social and environmental responsibility” (Nicolaides, 2006), includes many issues that can influence business like: pollution and climate change, education, poverty, health care and human rights (Menzies, 2008). Commitment to environmental ethics would be a fiscally promising practice for corporations to adopt.
Environmental Ethics shed light on the “value and moral significance” of the environment and all the living creatures and plants that exist outside of humanity (Stanford University, 2002). “Virtually every sizable corporation has a carefully framed code of ethics. The same is true of virtually every professional organization” and educational institution (Ruggiero, 2008). Including environmental ethics into an institution-wide code of ethics requires time and expertise, but more importantly the opportunity to become ecoliterate.
Creating opportunities for those involved in the corporate world to recognize and appreciate the value and connection humans have to our environment will enable these companies to move toward more ethical and sustainable practices. One author provided three examples on...