Applied Ecosystem Services, LLC

The Environmental Issues Doctor

Sustainability means different things to different people. It is so subjective that there is no consensus definition of what it means; some have described it as a process rather than as a goal. While there are two broad categories in which sustainability appears in the business world, they are just different ways of expressing the same societal values and beliefs. More importantly, many senior executives around the world expressed a need to better incorporate a meaningful measure of corporate contributions to sustainability, to learn how they can do better, and to change the approaches they have applied in the past1. In this article I describe the magnitude of the problem and explain why a lack of rigorous approach has potential negative impacts on the corporation’s ability to fulfill the vision of its CEO and Chair. The lack of quantified measures of sustainability also leaves investors, analysts, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) unsure of a corporation’s status with regard to its written commitment to corporate environmental and social responsibility. One potential approach, a mathematically robust process to quantify this subjectivity in a way that is technically sound and legally defensible, is described in the last part of this white paper.

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Providing essential environmental services since 1993.