The Corporate Sustainability Dilemma: Policy Or Pragmatism?

Jun 28, 2011 5:30 PM ET

The Corporate Sustainability Dilemma: Policy Or Pragmatism?

While every forward-thinking company has certainly become aware that it’s good business to be more efficient, to create less waste, and to monitor energy usage and expenses closely, what’s going to drive real changes in behavior that lead to those ends: public policy from federal and local governments, or free-market innovation and pragmatic self-interest?

At an intriguing panel discussion last week in New York City, SAP pulled together four voices representing various points of view on that question, and each of those four panelists shared a range of opinions on how and why corporate sustainability programs are inextricably tied to the competitive success of not only those individual companies but of the United States as a whole.   I use the word “intriguing” because while each of the panelists came at the subjects from different points of view, they also shared the common goal of working to identify ways to stimulate and spread innovation, to boost job creation, and to spur economic competitiveness locally, regionally, and perhaps even nationally.  

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