Over the summer, I read the article in the url below, which was part of a series of articles released by Knowledge@Wharton that looked at sustainability in the supply chain. There are lots of good facts and insights in the articles, but one quote, in particular, stood out:
“‘We are congratulating ourselves that we are becoming more sustainable,’ he said, ‘but we are not. We are becoming less unsustainable.’”
The quote was made as part of a larger point about the pace of change:
“One reason for this skepticism is that the relatively easy, short-term steps companies are now taking, as beneficial as they may be -- installing more on-off switches and valves, reducing the distances products travel to market, using rather than losing excess heat generated during manufacturing -- are not enough to carry the day. Robert Giegengack, a professor emeritus at the University of Pennsylvania's department of earth and environmental science, made the point early on in the conference: ‘We are congratulating ourselves that we are becoming more sustainable,’ he said, ‘but we are not. We are becoming less unsustainable. And we'll begin to approach the question of global sustainability when we carry this discussion back to the beginning of the supply chain, because in every case but two [water and oxygen], we are extracting natural resources at rates that far exceed the rate at which they are being replenished.’”
I like the quote because it is frank and because it indicates how far we have to go if we are truly to approach anything like a sustainable economic model.
Concise and powerful—characteristics of the CSR message that are often missing.
Have a good weekend.
Instructor Teaching Site: http://www.sagepub.com/strategiccsr/
The library of CSR Newsletters are archived at: http://strategiccsr-sage.blogspot.com/
Managing Green Supply Chains: Best Practices and Long-term Solutions