Sustainable businesses:
  • Replace nationally and internationally produced items with products created locally and regionally.
  • Take responsibility for the effects they have on the natural world.
  • Do not require exotic sources of capital in order to develop and grow.
  • Engage in production processes that are human, worthy, dignified, and intrinsically satisfying.
  • Create objects of durability and long-term utility whose ultimate use or disposition will not be harmful to future generations.
  • Change consumers to customers through education.
Paul Hawken, "The Ecology of Commerce"

Talking Points
  • Strengthening local communities
  • Understanding links between economy and environment
  • Junk bonds do not enhance community well-being
  • Workers are an important asset
  • Knowledgeable consumers are also an important asset

Paul Hawken is a successful businessman in the U.S. who has thought about how business fits into a sustainable world. These are some of the principles he has defined to guide businesses toward sustainability. (Paul Hawken, "The Ecology of Commerce", p144)

Businesses need to respect and enhance the communities in which they exist and upon which they depend. This includes not just the community a factory is in, but also the communities that supply materials and consume the final product. Companies are responsible for the environmental effects of their products, from raw materials through the ultimate disposal of the product. The workers are an important part of both the business and the community. It is in the company's best interest to help those workers become more productive. Companies should also help educate their customers.
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Copyright © 1998 Maureen Hart. All rights reserved.