SWOT Analysis

An acronym for a common approach to marketing and strategic planning that emphasizes comparisons between companies and/or products and services to find “holes” or positions in the market that represent more successful market opportunities as well as threats that should be alleviated. Strengths = A comparison listing of competing company, product, or service strengths for […]

Sustainable Growth Ratio

The rate of growth a company can attain without changing its profit margin, assets-to-sales ratio, debt-to-equity ratio, or dividend payout ratio, or without excessive borrowing or issuing new stock. (SGR = plowback ratio • ROE)

Sustainable Development

An approach to developing anything that recognizes the need to meet the challenges of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Sustainable Design

The process of developing products, services, and organizations that comply with the principles of economic, social, and ecological sustainability. There are many principles of sustainable design, including a customer-centric approach, dematerialization, transmaterialization, and biomimicry.


Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. This definition was created in 1987 at the World Commission on Environment and Development (the Brundtland Commission). It is enshrined in the Swiss federal constitution. It is similar to the “seventh generation” philosophy of the […]

Supply-side Economics

A school of macroeconomic thought which emphasizes the importance of tax cuts and business incentives in encouraging economic growth. This follows the belief that businesses and individuals will use their tax savings to create new businesses and expand old businesses, which in turn will increase productivity, employment, and general well-being.

Supply Chain

A network of individuals or organizations that performs the functions of procurement of materials; transformation of these material into intermediate and finished products; and distribution of these finished products to customers.

Sunk Costs

Used in business decision-making, costs which have already been incurred and which cannot be recovered to any significant degree and, thus, should be ignored.

Substance Flow Analysis (SFA)

A method of assessing the value of materials and energy used in creating a product.


An expression of the strategic intent and purpose of an organization, used to identify core competencies and determine long-term objectives, resource allocations and managerial tasks.