As we start 2012, the question I hear most while talking about Sustainability is whether it is just another fad. The simple answer is “no”. Why? Market forces!
Take carbon foot-printing for instance. Reducing carbon is all about energy per unit of production; nationally the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). And since the industrial revolution, economic power has been inseparable from energy. The world’s most dynamic economy, China, has pledged “to reduce its CO2 output per unit of GDP by up to 45% through 2020 compared with 2005 levels”(1). In 2009, the U.S. was 27th among OECD(2) in its energy efficiency per unit of GDP(3). As a country, the U.S. economy must become more efficient to be competitive. This is just as true for companies, communities, and educational institutions. Energy efficiency and renewable energy also provide an important hedge against energy market volatility. And given the progress of regional greenhouse gas regulation regimes and the Durban Platform along with the increasingly obvious economic and societal costs of petroleum, it’s clear that efficiency and renewable energy are in our future. » Read more: Sustainability is No Fad