Sustainability: What Does It Mean for You?

November 15, 2011
Michael A. Carter
Association of Corporate Counsel's "Green-house Counsel"

Sustainability has gone mainstream. Hardly a day goes by without a media report that another company has adopted "sustainable" practices. But what is sustainability, and what does it mean for your company and your role as corporate counsel?

Sustainability is often used to refer to an expanded measure of accounting that measures not only the economic aspects of a business, but also its social and environmental impacts. One popular shorthand for sustainability is the three "P's": people, planet and profit. In other words, sustainability does not ignore traditional economic considerations. Instead, it seeks to account for a company’s economic, environmental, and social performance and impacts to provide a more holist picture of the company. And many companies have also recognized that the incorporation of this broader perspective may help them identify new opportunities to enhance their business.

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