First thoughts about the course

Sustainability seems to be one of the hot topics of businesses today. Companies have gradually started to change their attitudes towards sustainability issues from considering it as something that is in the way of making business and money to understanding it’s potential to company’s success; sustainable actions are today seen as ways to increase company’s reputation, success and profits – it is, thus, a valuable competitive advantage for a number of firms operating in various businesses.

Even though traditional business often introduces sustainability through the concept of triple bottom line, that is, through three equally important, overlapping economic, environmental and social aspects of sustainability, what was an interesting suggestion in Monday’s lecture was to position the ecological aspect as the base for other aspects. That seems justified since, after all, the Earth and its ecological environment is to which all life is based on. Without a healthy, working ecological environment, we wouldn’t be able to sustain neither social nor economic lives and lifestyles sustainably or on a satisfactory level.

Another noteworthy discussion in the lecture had to do with the difference between the meanings of sustainable marketing and CSR. This is something I have come to think of myself before, since the difference has been somewhat unclear due to all popular sustainability-related terms, issues and concept today. A rather simplified, yet useful, distinction between sustainable marketing and CSR was made to consider marketing as something “for customers” and CSR “for other stakeholders”.

I appreciated the atmosphere of the first lecture, environment being inspiring and conversational and the topics introduced with interesting real life case examples such as Hummer and Toyota Prius example.


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