Contribution to GTI Roundtable "True Corporate Sustainability"

Stuart Hart

Bob Willard hits the nail on the head with his aptly titled piece: “Better is Not Good Enough: Toward True Corporate Sustainability.” As I have argued for well over 15 years, it is high time to move beyond the incrementalist, continuous improvement-based logic of eco-efficiency and corporate social responsibility to the transformative strategies that will creatively destroy unsustainable industries and move us into the next generation of inherently clean, renewable, regenerative, and inclusive strategies and business models. Willard has packed a great deal into a small space in this piece by also making the case for connecting individual corporate strategies and metrics to the larger social and environmental “system conditions” that set the rules for all human and economic activity on the planet. The time has come to begin with the necessary conditions for long-term sustainability and then “back-cast” to the appropriate technologies and business strategies. The corporations of the future will make themselves known to us over the next decade, while those that fail to rise to this challenge will be relegated to the scrap heap of history. Let the Schumpeterian Game begin!

Stuart Hart
Stuart Hart is the Grossman Endowed Chair in Sustainable Business at the University of Vermont Business School and the Samuel C. Johnson Chair Emeritus in Sustainable Global Enterprise and Professor Emeritus of Management at Cornell University.

Cite as Stuart Hart, contribution to GTI Roundtable "True Corporate Sustainability," Great Transition Initiative (June 2014),

Back to Publication

As an initiative for collectively understanding and shaping the global future, GTI welcomes diverse ideas. Thus, the opinions expressed in our publications do not necessarily reflect the views of GTI or the Tellus Institute.