BA 850
Sustainability Driven Innovation

Lesson 3 Overview


Lesson 3 Overview


My intent in covering the Profit pillar of sustainability third is very specific:

In Lesson 1, we begin in Planet, the first and only sustainability aspect most people tend to think about (and therefore think that they know), and show the tremendous breadth in how organizations define and measure.

In Lesson 2, my intent is to move you a little more into the 'deep end' of Sustainability, into the even more esoteric and complex People aspects.  This is where hopefully you are able to see how much research and understanding is needed to understand the actual content of a CSR before we can evaluate it.  For example, how could we possibly speak intelligently about how two organizations compare on "Worker Satisfaction" if we are solely reliant on their own metrics and data, and one obfuscates and the other misattributes?

In this Lesson, my intent is to snap you back into the aspect of Sustainability the public always takes for granted, but yet, is what allows an organization to take on its noble purpose at all.  Even in the case of a pure charity, if operating expenses outstrip the ability to fundraise or otherwise generate funding, insolvency awaits.

For me, personally, Profit is the most exciting pillar in many ways, as it is what allows an organization to expand on their VMVs.  Perhaps more than simply a 'nice to have' or a 'mission stimulant,' it is the oxygen of the organization.

The other aspect I hope to develop in this Lesson is that many 'nuts and bolts' organizations have done wonderful things in terms of waste reduction, product development, lifecycle, and efficiency under the auspices of "profitability."  These organizations do the yeoman work of sustainability without sometimes even realizing it.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this lesson, you should be able to:

  • discern the material aspects for a sustainability program and their importance;
  • evaluate an organization's approach to Profit issues through the lens of their stated Vision, Mission, and Values;
  • argue the relationships between sustainability, profitability, and long-term strategy of an organization;
  • differentiate sustainability-centric product offerings and strategies (revenue positive) from sustainability programs;
  • articulate the role of risk mitigation and regulatory compliance in sustainability.

Lesson Roadmap

To Read Chapters 5 and 6 (Keeley, et al.)

Documents and assets as noted/linked in the Lesson (optional)
To Do Case Assignment: IKEA
  • Case Post
  • Case Response
  • Peer Voting


If you have any questions, please send them to my Faculty email. I will check daily to respond. If your question is one that is relevant to the entire class, I may respond to the entire class rather than individually.