|At its most basic level of principles, ecological sustainability requires that a) production and consumption wastes are held within tight technical cycles, and b) that we do not to compromise nature’s ability to regenerate itself as a consequence of our cumulative production and consumption. Further, human sustainability requires that we do not deny other humans’ the capacity to fulfill their basic needs as a consequence of our cumulative production and consumption. Using these principles as a guide, it is clear that production of goods and services from the “black boxes” of industry is only half of the equation of a sustainable society. Organizations, industries, and society will never achieve this most basic level of sustainability until the customer, consumer, and consequences of consumption are wholly considered in the both the abstract notion and practical application of greening of industry.|
Many municipalities and universities, and some innovative companies, such as Interface Inc, have begun to explore what it means to include the customer and consumer in the greening process. This discussion will explore models, methods, and requirements for bringing customers and consumers more directly into the “greening” of the value chain, rather than using them as an excuse to maintain the status quo.