Steven Cohen writes, "One of the more persistent myths in our political dialogue is that we must tradeoff environmental sustainability and economic growth." He points out that U.S. environmental law only works to clean up or reduce pollution. Instead, greater focus is needed on sustainability measures which allow economic growth and resource reuse/conservation to grow hand in hand. Mr. Cohen further argues that this ideal is not impossible because, in reality, economic growth is dependant on high quality natural resources being available for both the short run and the long run.
In 2010, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics began tracking "green jobs" (or jobs engaging in energy efficiency, recycling and reuse, advocating awareness through education or training, etc.), they found 3.1 million related jobs. Researchers from MIT interviewed global executives as part of a three year study on sustainability innovation and found that 68 percent of these companies, "increased their commitment to sustainability." 67 percent of respondents indicated that possessing a strategy for sustainability was, "necessary to be competitive."
I think Mr. Cohen is correct that environmental sustainability should not be political. Sustainability is not about public relations or pretty landscapes; but necessary for a global economy which encompasses seven billion people. I watched The Lorax movie with my kids the other day, I couldn't help but think how absurd it was for a growing small business to literally hack its way through available resources with absolutely no regard, or strategy, for long term growth.