Capitalism requires that companies look to be financially and socially sustainable. As the earth loses nature to the expansion of humanity, capitalism seems to be hurting our global environmental sustainability. That being said, I do not believe this is core to capitalism. Rather, capitalism reflects the wishes and values of the consumers, and we as consumers are just beginning to change our views on global environmental sustainability. As this occurs, in order for companies to remain both economically and socially sustainable, they will also have to become environmentally sustainable. After all, capitalism requires that we have a planet that can sustain us and our trade. Without the environment, there is no capitalism. Thus, capitalism will have to integrate environmental sustainability as well as “business” sustainability in order to endure.
Integrating sustainability (especially environmental) into capitalism may require a level of government involvement. Governments are required to provide national security, rule of law, and other factors necessary to create a sustainable company. These ideas, capitalism and sustainability, can be integrated better as the general population is better educated about the need for sustainability and our core reliance on nature.
Furthermore, from an ethical perspective, nature is important in allowing us to evidence and witness non-manmade “life.” Some would consider nature the work of God. Regardless of your beliefs, one must accept that nature existed before the evolution of man and therefore represents the lineage of a more ancient past than ourselves – and ensuring that such a thing endures is morally good. While capitalism may not integrate sustainability for that reason, ultimately, the two systems will balance in order to achieve a sustainable, capitalistic future.