The Influence of Role on Sustainability Attitudes and Practice: A Study of Business and Political Leaders in Sri Lanka and Other Countries
Sustainability has emerged as a key concept in the business world, in the curriculum of business schools and in society generally. However, it is not clear that the meaning of the term is interpreted the same way by everyone. This paper looks at the meaning of sustainability as interpreted by business and political leaders in Sri Lanka. It is part of a larger study that also include Guyana, India, Canada and the USA. What is the meaning of sustainability in extant literature? The origin of the term as it is used today is from the report of the United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED) published in 1987: sustainable development is the kind of development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. While the Brundtland definition focusses on the environmental aspects of sustainability, in the Business literature
the term is now seen as encompassing three pillars: People, Planet and Profit, the Triple Bottom Line. The term “the triple bottom line” was coined in 1994 by John Elkington.
Keywords: Sustainability, attitudes, political leaders, Sri Lanka