Sustainability Concerns Into Corporate Environmental Strategies

1093 Words Apr 25th, 2016 5 Pages
After experiencing the two warmest years on record, 2014 and 2015, the need is greater than ever to change our relationship with our planet. Presently, various forces are pushing companies operating in the U.S. to become sustainable, but what does this really mean for them, and for the planet? The term sustainability has picked up steam as a “buzz” word. Business leaders, students, scholars, policy makers and even designers have vigorously joined the discussion on sustainability during the last decade. It has been observed that the trend to adopt and promote business practices that incorporate sustainability concerns into corporate environmental strategies and policies has steadily increased since the late 1980’s (Seager 2008).
Alongside the surge in sustainable business practices a new issue has emerged: Greenwashing. Greenwashing is a corporate practice where businesses use marketing tools to create the appearance of being green, without corresponding tangible environmental action. The relatively new notion of sustainability makes for elusive compliance standards in many settings. The absence of well established criteria for sustainability influences how firms respond to climate change in their business practices. For example, the discussion to set a concrete definition of sustainability “is complicated by the complexity of social and environmental relationships and the competing interests, if not outright dishonesty, of some stakeholders” (Lockie 2016). The way in…

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