In today’s business world, almost every company is placing greater emphasis on corporate sustainability. In fact, a 2020 study on sustainable supply chain by Coyote Logistics found that 81% of companies are more focused on sustainability today than they were just three years ago.
The idea that organizations should generally do good by taking steps to protect the planet and its natural resources became popular less than four decades ago. The term “sustainable development,” which evolved into a more general umbrella of sustainability, was first coined in the 1987 report Our Common Future, published by the World Commission for Environment and Development (WCED). The WCED proposed that sustainable development meant progress that would meet the needs of current generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. This definition was picked up by the United Nations Brundtland Commission that same year, and the thought eventually gave rise in 1994 to the adoption of the triple bottom line—an idea that, in addition to the standard measure of profit, companies should also prioritize caring for people and the planet.