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The world is increasingly shaped by sustainability issues. Businesses that incorporate sustainable design principles into their strategic plans understand and seize the opportunity to gain a competitive advantage. By actively pursuing sustainability, companies enhance their public image, while increasing profitability and viability in the market.

Sustainability Defined

A sustainable society is one that "meets the needs of the present without sacrificing the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."

- World Council for Sustainable Development

Sustainability Advantages

  • Easier recruiting & higher retention
  • Increased productivity
  • Reduced manufacturing costs
  • Lower site operations Costs
  • Increased revenue and market share
  • Reduced risk, easier financing

- Source, Bob Williard, The Sustainability Advantage

Carbon Neutrality

Being carbon neutral, or carbon neutrality, refers to neutral (meaning zero) total carbon release, brought about by balancing the amount of carbon dioxide released with the amount sequestered.

Carbon neutrality is typically achieved by:

  1. Limiting energy usage and emissions from transportation (e.g. using low-energy vehicles or avoiding flying) as well as from buildings, equipment and processes.
  2. Obtaining electricity from a renewable energy source either directly by generating it (e.g. installing solar panels) or by selecting an approved green energy provider, and by using low-carbon alternative fuels such as biofuels.
  3. Offset the remaining emissions that cannot presently be avoided or generated from renewables by investing in a responsible carbon project or by buying carbon credits.

In the Public Eye

Businesses are constantly under public scrutiny and must be accountable for both their products and how their businesses function. Leading companies are those who are knowledgeable and responsible in terms of how their operations affect society, the economy, public health and the environment. One of the key advantages a commitment to sustainability brings is protecting an organization's permission to operate.


Below are links to other organizations of interest

Business for Social Responsibility

Canada Green Building Council

Canadian Business for Social Responsibility

David Suzuki Foundation

Fraser Basin Council

Offsetters Carbon Neutral Society

Pembina Institute


Post Carbon Institute

Smart Growth BC

U.S. Green Building Council

World Business Council for Sustainable Development

World Wildlife Fund "Living Planet Report"