Six Types of Sustainability

Sustainability is an expansive concept that applies widely. The definition of sustainability is commonly narrowly defined particularly by entrepreneurs and some members of the business community.  The Brundtland commission definition from 1987 definition defines sustainability as follows, "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet its needs". Many focus exclusively on profitability, at the expense of the other dimensions of sustainability. However, profitability is only one of the three pillars of the so called three legged stool of sustainability (people, planet and profits).  While no one can deny the importance of...

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Oil’s Price Volatility is Bad for the Economy and the Environment

No matter how you slice it, oil's price volatility is bad for business and bad for the economy. At the start of this decade headlines were commenting about the high cost of oil now they are awash with remarks about price declines. Unpredictable oil prices hurt everyone. The problem of oil's price volatility was made apparent during the OPEC oil embargo of 1974. Since then we have seen a number of radical fluctuations including a sudden price spike in the summer of 2008 when a barrel of crude hit more than $130 only to fall to $40 per barrel a...

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Low Oil Prices will Slow Renewable Energy and Impede the Growth of the Green Economy

With oil prices at a 5-year low, renewable energy and the green economy are being hit with some serious headwinds. Low oil prices are not only detrimental to the growth of renewable energy it is also decreases demand for hybrid and electric cars as well as cleantech in general. High oil prices buoy interest in renewables, while low oil prices put downward pressure on the growth of the low carbon economy. For more than a quarter century we have been exploring the ways in which oil prices are related to renewable energy. A 1989 World Bank study showed how renewable...

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