As a concept, Sustainability can be defined as the “the growing concern for the environment and natural resources, though...[it]...has also had increasing resonance in social and economic issues.” (Mowforth and Munt,2009, p18). Academic, political and economic circles have begun to seriously consider the implications of unrestricted economic growth on the already stretched resources of the earth. The agenda is motivated by the understanding that the planet may not be able to cope up with the demands of the growth unless drastic measures are taken to support the processes with more environmentally friendly practices and technology. The burden of change in this area falls largely to businesses and economic groups as they are the main consumers of many of the natural, human and financial capital resources available currently. While governments and lobbying groups can provide much-needed direction and policies to guide the businesses towards sustainable practices; inevitably it is the businesses themselves that must show awareness and concern regarding the issue and make changes from the ground level as they have a greater reach and influence than any single consumer possibly could have.
It is not surprising that societal expectations from both local and international stakeholder are now forcing businesses towards a higher level of accountability and transparency with regards to not just their financial performance but also their role as a social participant in economic, social and environmental development (Sherwood, 2007). While responses have varied, businesses, especially in the consumer-centric, western markets, have responded to these responsibilities with efforts to be operationally eco-efficient, and incorporate social responsibility into their overall operations.