Sustainability in Law and Business - Professor Dan Rohlf

Although difficult to define precisely, the concept of sustainability describes a way of meeting today's needs without compromising the ability of future generations to likewise meet their own requirements. In addition to its environmental aspects, the "three-legged stool" idea of sustainability also encompasses economics and community well-being; all three of these areas of course also raise important questions about equity and inclusiveness. Actors in both the private and public sectors have increasingly moved toward practicing and even requiring more sustainable ways of living, governing, and doing business. This course will examine - and hopefully help to define - how emerging concepts of sustainability are influencing and influenced by the law and legal practice. Substantive topics addressed in the class will include green labeling and marketing; sustainable energy development; sustainable building and land-use practices; supply-chain sustainability requirements; socially responsible investing; triple-bottom line accounting and corporate reporting requirements; sustainability-related subsidies, tax credits and abatements;, market-based environmental regulation; and sustainability and natural resources management. We'll also consider equity issues across the board as an essential element of a sustainable society. Mirroring developments in the field, the class will have an interdisciplinary focus. Guest, speakers drawn from practicing attorneys, experts, and members of the business community will provide course participants with a real-world perspective on current developments in the field.