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Sustainable Development & its impact on Business:

Sustainable development focuses on improving the quality of life for all the Earths citizens without increasing the use of natural resources beyond the capacity of the environment to supply them indefinitely !he sustainable development concept begins with an understanding that inaction has consequences and that we must find innovative ways to change institutional structures and influence individual behaviour !here is growing understanding of the interconnection between global ecological" economic and political#social systems and it has become important to consider economic prosperity in an integrated way with social development and environmental protection !raditional decision$ma%ing" which focused primarily on social and#or economic considerations" with environmental issues usually neglected unless the policy issue specifically pertained to the environment" has been replaced with an integrated decision$ma%ing approach" in which environmental issues must be considered along with the social and economic ones Sustainable Development is about ta%ing action and changing policy and practice at all levels" from the individual to the international !o ma%e sustainable development a reality" there must be cooperation and change from governments" businesses and communities around the world !he information contained in this module will provide an overview of sustainable development and help you to learn: what sustainable development is and why its important& about different ways of viewing sustainable development& how 'anada measures up to international efforts to embrace sustainable development approaches& and" what you can do to live a (greener life N.B. The ultimate goal of SD is the advancement of life within the carrying capacity of the environment and at no expense to future generations. It is based on the logic that as a society works toward progress its initiatives are more likely to be sustainable if they are based on integrated decision making that acknowledges the interdependent linkages between economic growth social development and environmental protection. It assesses not only the immediate but the long!term impacts of one on the other seeks resolution of conflicting

views mitigates any negative impacts and ultimately indicates the best way forward for a sustained result.

So what does sustainable development mean for marketers?


Several issues stand out. The strategy and tactics adopted must be achievable by the marketing team within its budgetary constraints and the skills experience and interests of its people. But more than this the marketing strategy must respond to the wider environment in which the company is operating" #eflecting and inspiring the ambitions of the marketing team and other employees$ %ligning with the company&s strategy values and culture$ 'elping to deliver sustainable returns to investors$ %ddressing customer and consumer needs and informing and educating people about the impacts of their purchasing practices$ Identifying and responding to emerging societal trends and exploring the opportunities to deliver products in collaboration with the communities in which the company operates$ #esponding to governmental and regulatory expectations and influencing the public policy agenda. (ou will have your own priorities in contributing to your marketing plan ) issues that reflect the particular ob*ectives and working practices of your company and other aspects of its competitive and regulatory environment. But to help you get started the table opposite highlights some introductory themes under each element of the +traditional& marketing mix" product price place and promotion.

,-N,./T -0 N%T1#%2 ,%/IT%2IS3 In Natural ,apitalism the authors describe the global economy as being dependent on natural resources and ecosystem services that nature provides. Natural ,apitalism is a criti4ue of traditional 5Industrial ,apitalism5 saying that the traditional system of capitalism 5does not fully conform to its own accounting principles. It li4uidates its capital and calls it income. It neglects to assign any value to the largest stocks of capital it employs! the natural resources and living systems as well as the social and cultural systems that are the basis of human capital.5

Natural capitalism recogni6es the critical interdependency between the production and use of human!made capital and the maintenance and supply of natural capital. 789 The authors argue that only through recogni6ing this essential relationship with the .arth:s valuable resources can businesses and the people they support continue to exist. Their fundamental 4uestions are" ;hat would an economy look like if it fully valued all forms of capital< ;hat if an economy were organi6ed not around the abstractions of neoclassical economics and accountancy but around the biological realities of nature< ;hat if =enerally %ccepted %ccounting /rinciples recogni6ed natural and human capital not as a free amenity in inexhaustible supply but as a finite and integrally valuable factor of production< ;hat if in the absence of a rigorous way to practice such accounting companies started to act as if such principles were in force. The %uthors of Natural ,apitalism say that these choices are possible and 5such an economy would offer a stunning new set of opportunities for all of society amounting to no less than the next industrial revolution. The book has many practical suggestions for companies interested in a sustainable future. %ccording to the authors the 5next industrial revolution5 depends on the espousal of four central strategies" 5the conservation of resources through more effective manufacturing processes the reuse of materials as found in natural systems a change in values from 4uantity to 4uality and investing in natural capital or restoring and sustaining natural resources>. ;hile traditional industrial capitalism primarily recogni6es the value of money and goods as capital Natural ,apitalism extends recognition to natural capital and human capital. /roblems such as pollution and social in*ustice may then be seen as failures to properly account for capital rather than as inherent failures of capitalism itself. The fundamental assumptions of Natural ,apitalism are as follows" ?@ The limiting factor to future economic development is the availability and functionality of natural capital in particular life!supporting services that have no substitutes and currently have no market value. A@ 3isconceived or badly designed business systems population growth and wasteful patterns of consumption are the primary causes of the loss of natural capital and all three must be addressed to achieve a sustainable economy. 8@ 0uture economic progress can best take place in democratic market!based systems of production and distribution in which all forms of capital are fully valued including human manufactured financial and natural capital. B@ -ne of the keys to the most beneficial employment of people money and the environment is radical increases in resource productivity.

C@ 'uman welfare is best served by improving the 4uality and flow of desired services delivered rather than by merely increasing the total dollar flow. D@ .conomic and environmental sustainability depends on redressing global ine4uities of income and material well!being.

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