We need to ensure ecological sustainability if we are to achieve social sustainability; but if we if systematically undermine our social sustainability, it doesn't really matter if we achieve ecological sustainability (in terms of creating a sustainable human society; I'd argue it still matters given the inherent value living systems, human or not). Running the Death Star on solar power doesn't do much to help the light side.
|Photo credit: Stéfan Le Dû|
Wal-Mart has great "sustainability" goals - and due to its sheer size and influence, has done an incredible amount to drive positive ecological solutions - but their sustainability goals are environmental, and don't sufficiently integrate social impacts. A concerted effort on social sustainability by Wal-Mart - supporting fair labor practices, fair trade practices, healthy living products, and local economies - could have a huge positive impact globally, much the same way their environmental goals are. I'm not convinced the big-box business model could ever be truly sustainable without a radical rethinking, but I certainly commend their efforts to move that direction. I hope they continue to do so, and focus more on social sustainability. Hopefully this class action suit will help make that happen.