Sustainability: Two Sides of the Same Coin

image: justice scaleIf sustainability were a coin, what would the two sides of it be?  Business sustainability and personal sustainability.  Within our business world today, consumers, investors and the like are asking for accountability in the restructuring of businesses, financial systems, government, and leadership.  In the face of public outrage and widespread media coverage of recent events in the Gulf of Mexico, perhaps we also need to ask:  Are we as individuals holding ourselves accountable?
 
Noted in, Why Aren't We Stressing Stakeholder Responsibility, "Perhaps the CSR community expects too much of firms. If society decides it wants greater social responsibility from firms, then perhaps it is up to a firm's stakeholders (and its consumers, in particular) to demand and reward such behavior. Stakeholders, even more than firms, have the obligation to help design the society in which they want to live and work."  "Stakeholders play an important role in holding firms to account for their actions."
 
Mentioned in our professional consulting, personal sustainability is about addressing the environmental concerns of carbon, water, and energy on a smaller scale: your life.  Committing to sustainability in your personal life is holding yourself accountable for the very commitments and eco actions we are asking our leaders to make.    Additionally, it's about leveraging your financial dollar to support credible and sustainable businesses.  Vote with your financial dollar; as a shareholder, uphold reporting, transparency, compensation related to business sustainability. 
 
Shaping our future takes both sides of the sustainability coin.  "The problem that we face is a collective responsibility in order to balance on the one hand the competitive enterprise system from which innovation, entrepreneurship and new products and new processes come and, on the other hand, a sensible series of restraints. To try to wish away one or the other, to say that government can produce the products and services, or that the enterprise system can take care of the public good, I think, is misreading the times."  --J. Herbert Hollomon

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