Sustainability and Sustainable Business Essay

Sustainability and Sustainable Business Essay

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sustainability mean to “going green” and reducing environmental impacts? Can firms generate profitability by simply becoming sustainable? I have asked myself these two questions when this course first started and had a hope to find out the answers by myself. Fortunately, things I have gotten from this class are even more than I expected. Now, I know not only the answers of those two questions but also many other interesting related concepts. This may be a great chance for me to interpret what I have studied to future students of this class or anyone who is interested in sustainability topic but does not have much knowledge about it. Thus, in this paper, I will focus on the major concepts of sustainability which are externalities, the IPAT equation, the “triple bottom line”, the “natural – resource-based view” (NRBV), and some typical example of sustainable businesses in the real world.
Before talking about sustainability, it is more important to know what an externality is. An externality, an effect which is created from a transaction between a buyer and a seller, directly influences a third party. In our daily life, many transactions are made among people, and these transactions can cause both positive and negative externalities. According to Jeff Butcher and Rachel Hill (n.d), positive externalities stand for benefits, and negative externalities stand for the costs that are related to the production or consumption of goods and services. Obviously, the negative externalities caused from those transactions are much higher than the positive externalities. Many environmental concerns are drawn from pollution, toxicity, greenhouse gas emissions, natural resources and the loss of ecosystem services. This is because most people hav...


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Hardin, G. (1968). Garrett Hardin: the tragedy of the commons. 1-13.

Hart, S. L., and Dowell, G. (2010). Invited editorial: a natural-resource-based view of the firm: fifteen years after. Journal of Management 2011, 37: 1464-1476.

Laverty, K. J. (2012). The environmental Value Chain and strategic decision making for Sustainability. Academy of Business of Society: 1-7.

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