Fast Company

The Four Dimensions of Sustainability

Reducing impact on climate change is a challenge many corporations are trying to tackle. Many organizations are up for the challenge but many are unsure of where to begin among the myriad of activities on the table.

Due to these challenges, I’ve developed a white paper which I hope will provide more insight on how to navigate these challenges. The Four Dimensions of Sustainability evolved from my trying to put BT’s and other company’s many sustainability activities into a logical set of categories for a presentation I had to give.

I wanted to categorize these companies in a way that would be comparable across sectors and be applicable to companies at any stage in their CSR evolution. I wanted a framework that would encompass everything from lobbying on CAFÉ standards and green advertising through employee engagement to sustainable product strategies. . I presented it a number of times and received a very positive response so I was encouraged to put it together as a white paper.

The resulting framework that I developed can be used to address social and economic sustainability although I have used environmental examples to illustrate the framework in this first version of the paper. I plan to put together a future version of the paper focusing on social and economic examples. I hope this framework will go some way to helping companies understand the full breadth of areas they need to consider when developing a sustainability strategy and also provides a common lens through which outside observers can judge a companies credentials.

I am opening the white paper up for direct comments and suggestion – good or bad. The paper has been posted on a wiki so that you can suggest amendments and additions and collaborate in whatever comes next.

To download a PDF of the white paper, click here.

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