- What does sustainability mean to you and why are you so passionate about it?
- What are some misconceptions about what it means?
- With your book “Sustainability at Work” you say you want to bridge sustainable development and career development. What do you mean?
- You say just about any career can incorporate sustainability. What are some of the examples you cite in your book?
- Why are people today more concerned than they used to be about having a larger purpose to make a difference in their career?
- What are four ways people can pursue sustainability in their careers?
- Why do you say companies should look beyond the immediate concerns of shareholders, employees and customers?
- Some companies practice sustainability in-house, but may unknowingly promote environmental problems or social abuse. How can this happen?
- What do you mean when you say sustainability professionals must focus on both the horizontal and vertical reaches of the supply chain?
- How can companies make sure their products don’t end up in a landfill?
- How can college students choose careers that have a positive impact on people and the planet?
- What is the SURF Framework and why did you develop it?
- How can this guide job seekers as well as employers?
- Where did the idea of sustainability originate?
- Why do you think the idea of sustainability has caught on in recent years, despite our consumer-driven society and focus on immediate gratification and short-term profit?
- What is the quadruple bottom line and how are some companies practicing it?
- We are often told we have to sacrifice environmental and social protections to have a better economy. What’s wrong with this argument?
- How are companies today benefitting financially by adopting environmentally and socially sustainable practices?
- What are some of the costs companies face when they don’t adopt sustainability practices?
Byline BIO: Author and green business expert Marilyn Waite explains how people can incorporate principles of long-term sustainability into their work in her new book, “Sustainability at Work: Careers that make a difference.” For more information, visit www.MarilynWaite.com.
Broadcast BIO: Shortsighted decisions often come with hidden long-term costs. Our guest today is an expert on “sustainability” – making choices to support a healthy planet and society for the future that also make economic sense today. Marilyn Waite is a green business expert and author of the new book, “Sustainability at Work: Careers that make a difference.” For more information, visit www.MarilynWaite.com. Welcome, Marilyn.
Full BIO: Author and sustainable business expert Marilyn Waite explains how anyone can incorporate principles of long-term sustainability into their work in her book,“Sustainability at Work: Careers that make a difference.”
Marilyn has worked across four continents in renewable and nuclear energy, tech startups, and venture capital and investment. Author of Sustainability at Work, Marilyn serves on the Board of Directors for The Biomimicry Institute and lectures sustainable business at UIBE in Beijing. Marilyn previously led the energy practice at Village Capital, modeled and forecasted energy solutions to climate change as a Senior Research Fellow at Project Drawdown, and served on the Board of Directors for Engineers for a Sustainable World. She holds a Master’s Degree with distinction in Engineering for Sustainable Development from the University of Cambridge and a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering, magna cum laude, from Princeton University.
What is Sustainability?
What comes to mind when you hear terms such as going green, sustainable development, corporate social responsibility or people-planet-profit? Green business expert Marilyn Waite defines what it all means and demystifies some key concepts in her new book “Sustainability at Work: Careers that make a difference.”
Any Career Can be Green
Marilyn shares how people can strive for greater sustainability in various fields including agriculture, business, economic and financial services, health, science and technology, law and policy, education and research, and even entertainment and media.
Sustainability Careers 101
Environmental stewardship, corporate social responsibility, zero-waste, zero-carbon, renewable… the sheer number of buzzwords and labels can leave anyone confused. Marilyn outlines four ways to pursue sustainability in careers.
Taking the Long View
Marilyn explains why companies are looking beyond the immediate concerns of shareholders, employees and customers to develop business plans that are truly sustainable.
Stay Calm and Focus on the Supply Chain
The supply chain – and all of it – is where many companies fall short of sustainability objectives. It’s where social abuses and environmental degradation lurk. Direct suppliers are one thing. The suppliers to the suppliers of your suppliers are another. Marilyn tells why sustainability professionals must focus on both the horizontal and vertical reaches of the supply chain.
How to Make Sure Your Product Does not End Up in a Landfill
Too often, sustainability efforts that go into product development are thrown out the window once products reach consumers’ hands. The end-user may not have the knowledge of how to reuse or recycle a product, and services that enable a closed-loop may be absent in his or her community. Marilyn discusses how companies can improve consumer awareness, citing US retailer Best Buy’s successful take-back program as one example.
Making a Living that Makes a Difference
Many people today seek meaning and impact in their careers as well as money. Marilyn tells how her fellow millennials can have a positive impact on society and career by applying principles of sustainable development as a guiding force.
SURF the Wave of Change
Marilyn developed the SURF Framework for applying sustainability concepts to multiple career situations. SURF stands for: Supply chain and user considerations that address sustainability criteria; relations with employees, colleagues, community, and society; and concern for future generations. She explains why planning is key to making it all work.
Origins of Sustainability
The concept is often traced to laws of the Iroquois which held that decisions should be considered for the impact on the seventh generation to come. Marilyn tells why indigenous peoples naturally practiced sustainability and why Western culture overlooked it, until recently.
Understanding the Quadruple Bottom Line
Sustainability calls for companies to embrace not just the traditional bottom line of profits, but also consider impacts on the environment, the overall economy, society, and future generations. Marilyn shares examples of companies that are focussing on the 4X bottom line.
The Costs of Not Going Green
In the last century and continuing today, a flawed argument often prevails: We are told we must get rid of regulations that protect the environment in order to have economic growth and new jobs. Marilyn explains why more companies are finding greater growth and prosperity by adopting principles of sustainability that reduce costs and risks while boosting profits – and brand reputation.