I'm not an economist, but here's my take on the current financial situation. The bank crashes are due to the bubble bursting in the 'sub prime' mortgage market - too much money lent to too many people who can't afford to pay it back - a clear Corporate Social Responsibility issue (that's real grown up CSR, not the paper thin small-local-donations type CSR). We are also afflicted by 'short selling' - betting on shares losing value has serious ethical implications too - gambling on horses losing is illegal in many countries for good reason. Other industries and the general public are struggling with high and rising oil prices (an environmental issue) - leading to a breakdown in consumer confidence which furthers the vicious circle.

Sustainability with a big 'S' is about economics, environment and ethics. In the past there has been a need to differentiate between this and the small 's' sustainability ie the medium term viability of an organisation. But now I believe the two have converged and Sustainability is not an option when it comes to sustainability. Proper CSR would have saved the banks, and energy efficiency and/or a distributed energy system would make the economy much less dependent on the price of oil.

Maybe now we will wake up and smell the (sustainably sourced) coffee.

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