Seeds of change
In 1962, environmental activist Rachel Carson published her landmark book, "Silent Spring." At the time, she couldn't have imagined that it would be another 45 years before her call for change and environmental stewardship would reach a tipping point. While the movement to go green is finally reaching critical mass, the green revolution began many years ago. In 1987, the World Commission on Environment and Development/the Brundtland Commission published "Our Common Future" for the United Nations, a report that outlined essential environmental strategies for achieving environmentally sustainable development. The watershed moment came five years later in 1992, when former presidential candidate, environmentalist, and Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Al Gore, published his book "Earth in the Balance" followed by the Oscar-winning documentary "An Inconvenient Truth."
These works and others like them sounded a wake-up call—we ignore the dangers of climate change at our own risk. The growing sustainability movement took hold, igniting awareness of the importance of sustainability as a business practice. Today, businesses everywhere are seeking out products and processes that enable them to minimize environmental impact and support a sustainable future.
Environmental sustainability, what is it, anyway?
Environmental sustainability centers on the notion that we have a responsibility to future generations to reduce our carbon footprint today. While a universal definition of sustainability has yet to be established, the World Commission on Environment and Development (the Brundtland Commission) defines it as "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs." Sustainability is by nature, about the future. It is about business practices that balance the interests of people, the planet, and profitability. Fortunately, awareness is growing. Customers are challenging manufacturers to find better ways to protect and preserve resources.
Environmentally conscious companies are initiating efforts to balance what is good for business with what is good for the planet. For many companies, sustainability has just recently become part of their corporate mission. For others, environmental sustainability is an opportunity to "green-wash" their products and brands. For a rare few, it has been a part of their DNA for years.
To learn more about sustainability and how it is part of our DNA, download the Free Wide Format Printing Sustainability White Paper.
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