These Are Defining Times

November 13, 2007 - 13:26

Sustainability is a term that everyone in the industry seems to be talking about but no one seems to agree on: It means different things to different people.

The good thing is people are talking; now the industry needs to come to a consensus on a definition and figure out the best way to embrace sustainability.

To do that, you need to understand what sustainability is and how it can impact your business. The definition of sustainability we are using at Big Grower is:

sus·tain'a·bil'i·ty — meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs while enhancing the health of ecosystems. Every action must be able to be repeated over and over, without impairing the ability of future generations to provide for themselves.

This definition comes from a new regular feature, “The Sustainable Business,” which debuts in this issue on page 24. “The Sustainable Business” is designed to provide you with perspective from inside and outside the industry to help you better understand this complicated subject.

The first installment of “The Sustainable Business” addresses many of the different terms and definitions that growers need to know about pertaining to sustainability. If everyone in the industry starts speaking the same language when it comes to sustainability, it might be a bit easier to start adapting the techniques and implementing them in your greenhouses and business operations.

 

The Future

Sustainability is a “complete business and lifestyle philosophy” with moral and business implications that will affect everyone in the industry. Because this is the original green industry, it only seems right that growers like you take the lead on this issue and help determine which path the industry should follow.

In 2008, people will not only be talking about sustainability; they will be doing something about it, too. We will be covering all of the latest developments in Big Grower and our sister publications, GPN and Lawn & Garden Retailer. So I would like to know what your thoughts are on this issue. How is your business dealing with sustainability? What challenges are you facing? What are your customers and suppliers doing to work toward a sustainable future?

In future issues, “The Sustainable Business” as well as other Big Grower features will continue to tackle this complex topic. We want to help you develop and implement sustainable techniques in your greenhouses that will affect your bottom line. If there are specific topics about sustainability that you would like to see covered in Big Grower, send me an e-mail at thodson@sgcmail.com.

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