Business Case for Sustainability

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Videos are created by Alexandre Magnin using years of experience drawing and working as a sustainability consultant with businesses and communities:

In this video I present the business case for sustainability and reliable evidence that quantifies the value of a company integrating sustainability into its corporate DNA. According to research by done by Bob Willard, a typical company using best-practice sustainability approaches (already being used by existing companies) can increase its profit by 51% (for small or medium enterprise) to 81M (for a large manufacturing / distribution company).

“The new sustainability advantage” by Bob Willard
The Five Capitals:

Script co-written by Sarah Brooks.

Music: Swamp Stomp by Silent Partner

Thank you to our volunteer for Portuguese subtitles: André Ribeiro Winter

Is global sustainability possible in our society? | Jon Alexander | TEDxUCL

This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. What are we doing to ourselves when we tell ourselves constantly – through the medium of ever-more pervasive advertising – that we are Consumers? And what would it look like to put all the creativity that currently goes into that, into involving people in society as Citizens?

Jon spent a decade working at big name ad agencies, on some of the world’s biggest brands, all the while asking deeper and deeper questions about the role of his industry in society. His conclusions will shock and inspire you.

About TEDx, x = independently organized event In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)
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19 thoughts on “Business Case for Sustainability”

  1. Hi, I was just wondering if you have a reference for the quote "Managing for today while preparing for tomorrow"?

  2. A wonderful and concise picture of corporate sustainability's overall goals in < 5 min. Thanks for this, Alex!

  3. WOW! What a great little video!  Thank you for the kind credit you give me in the video and the reference to my website.
    In just 4.5 minutes, the video covers a topic that usually takes me 45 minutes to deliver in a typical presentation. That’s a 10 productivity factor and the clever graphics make the message wonderfully memorable. I especially like the one about injecting sustainability into company DNA. Beautiful!


  4. The quickest way to become sustainable is to "program" children from birth. We need coloring books, story books, posters, television shows to overcome the negative programming. We must teach differently if we are to expect different results.

  5. I think the answer is no, there are too many idiots opposed to sustainability and too many weak supporters of it. So no, sustainability is not possible in our society.

  6. Another question is "who?" has any disposable income left to consume with? I use to, in 1990s, be able to afford some new things each month, but not ever since graduating college and started working for the US government. My government pay checks are slashed in half by deductions for health insurance, tax, life insurance, and the minimum retirement contributions, while I am pressured and made to feel guilty for not contributing to the combined federal campaign to support charities. On pay day, every dime I take home is already owed for monthly payments on student loan, auto insurance, rent, utilities. I have not been able to afford a new car in over 15 years due to having had only 2 kids. If I want new clothing that do not come from a thrift store, I have to use a credit card. Most months I have to charge my food. I graduated just in time, because my co-workers who are 10 years younger will never be able to afford a family. I see more and more poor families moving into the neighborhood on government subsidies who are living a higher life style than myself and my working childless neighbors. Nobody appears to be spending anything on upkeep of the housing.

  7. I want to stretch this even broader. I am completely behind the unity idea behind the EU, but if i have to watch my brothers and sister in the other countries being on the losing end of this 'unity', i don't think this kind of 'equality' is what we had in mind. All of us just being flattened with the mallet of sameness. "Ohh, you didn't survive that? Too bad for you!" What are we doing?! Does economy really trump everything? There is not even room for expressing uniqueness, difference and individuality in European countries anymore.

    Let's not even start talking about the horrendous ag policies that totally destroy local and regional food cultures of any country that joins. Can we not celebrate diversity, for god's sake!! Fantastic countries with ancient agricultural traditions that will now litterally be forced straight into our narrow, large scale, 21's century idea of agriculture, People already living many more times more sustainably than us, guaranteed to lose every bit of their unique soul within a single generation. Like we have. Are profits really the only darn measure in life? How did the shift happen from seeing our neighbors as allies to seeing them purely as positive or negative business partners only. It is driving us appart, instead of bringing us together.

    I personally see myself as the advertiser of my sustainable values. I trumpet it everywhere i go. I grow food, buy as much local or sustainable as possible, homecook and i shut off all advertising, including dumping the TV 20 years ago. I'll make up my own mind, thank you very much. If i want something, i'll look up the reviews. This has gone too far. My last counted average was 15 advertising impressions per day. The conscious ones, yes. If i could wear blinders, i would. Something else. I never buy anything i have seen advertised. 😉 Mostly the things disfiguring our bus stops.

  8. Society, individuals, need to take control of who we are. We need to write our own story- retell reframe, remake.We are not consumers, we are better than that.The people get what the people want…not want what they get. Take control

  9. Hello, great talk, puts mind to work a lot.
    I have a lot of similar ideas to John, do you have an email or a way to get in touch with him? Id apreciatte it.
    Thanks and congratulations.

  10. This is by far, one of the best Ted talks I have watched. He did a great thing by explaining the importance of how the meanings of words become one of the greatest barriers when dealing with the idea of actually living in an environmentally minded way.

  11. An amazing and thought provoking talk. We really need to put our heads together to accelerate our transformation as a global community, which probably starts with a hard look at ourselves.

  12. Getting most Americans to stop wasting fuel with pointless idling is a daunting task. They seem more likely to conserve water than oil, but water is at least partly renewable. And population growth is the thing that drives growing consumption more than anything.

  13. All people who speak the term "sustainability" in their speech should be arrested and marched behind the nearest barn and shot.

  14. I felt inspired and more motivated just by listening to you. In 2013 I attempted a year of 'not buying anything new' (excluding food & hygiene stuff) and managed until mid-August. 2015 and I am trying again. It's a great battle of self will versus constant messaging – but also great to have my own 'excuse' to not be tempted and not to go into a shop! 

  15. Jon – great job. Delivered with fantastic passion. And I love the quote at the end. It is so important to understand the stories we unconsciously live by, and then consciously choose the stories we wish to live by.

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