Saving Planet Earth with conscious capitalism
Office of Strategic Communication
Provocative and moving perspectives on the three P’s of sustainability: planet, people and profit … Stories on the unique ecological practices of other nations ... Poetry about planet Earth … These are just some of the arresting ways Breena E. Coates, professor emeritus of corporate strategy, begins the Sustainability Show, an educational and entertaining talk show about global and regional sustainability on Coyote Radio.
During its November 2017 launch, Coates — creator and host of the show — took her listeners on a journey through time as she described the moments when Neil Armstrong traveled to the moon and set eyes on Earth. “When he looked back,” Coates said, “he saw below a blue, blue planet; a planet that seemed to have an abundance of crystal clean water for all humanity.”
Despite the amounts of water seen from space, Coates revealed that Armstrong — a scientist — would have known that only three percent of that water is drinkable, and that we are wasting this precious resource at alarming rates.
“This is where environmental sustainability of water, land and air, the common goods for all humanity comes in,” Coates said, “and this is where our program begins …”
The idea of the program actually began in Coates’ classroom, during her teaching and research on corporate social responsibility in her corporate strategy classes. She also credits the Jack H. Brown College of Business and Public Administration’s link to the United Nations Global Compact, via PRME (Principles for Responsible Management Education), as her inspiration.
Now the monthly show is in full swing, bringing together experts and other guests to discuss associated topics and give listeners a well-rounded view on various forms of sustainability. The goal is to have listeners learn about sustainability from a global perspective, as well as a local and regional perspective.
“The local perspective highlights CSUSB’s operational efforts on sustainability — we have had executives from CSUSB from Information Technology, dining services, Resilient CSUSB and others on the show,” Coates said. The show has also brought in CSUSB faculty from various disciplines to speak about how they embed sustainability issues into classroom learning.
According to Coates, the era we are living in has been called by scientists the “Anthropocene” — where human behavior and actions are shaping the planet, and often self-interested actions on the environment cause more harm than good. The show focuses on environmental sustainability with an emphasis on conscious, responsible capitalism.
“To make people aware of the need for sustainability, it requires the active support of business corporations, nonprofit corporations like CSUSB, and the public sector to set the example and make steps toward a positive change,” Coates said. “Supporting and creating a sustainable ecosystem must, of course, place significant focus on environmental protection, protection of our social systems, and the ability of business to make fair profits.”
The show also links to CSUSB strategies, such as Resilient CSUSB — a campus-wide initiative launched in 2017 to meet the sustainability needs of the future — and the campus motto, “We Define the Future.” The program also includes The Jack H. Brown College’s commitment to PRME values in educating business students to be responsible future corporate leaders.
“The way it is currently, with consumption and production, and with the ever-increasing population,” Coates said, “the planet’s resources will not sustain unless something is done to change the way we treat our planet.”
Listeners can tune in to the Sustainability Show — supported by Jacob Poore, director of Coyote Radio, and Merlyna Na, radio engineer — at radio.csusb.edu, or download the Coyote Radio app. To listen to previous shows, visit its Soundcloud page. Live Sustainability Shows are taped on the last Friday of the month, 2-4 p.m. The program re-runs every subsequent Friday at the same time.