While the concept of operating a sustainable business has been gaining momentum over the past few years, many still question what it means. In this article we’ll take a look at what “sustainability” means and how you can make your business become more sustainable?
Within environmental discussions, sustainability refers to sustaining the planet and all life on it. However, when addressing business practices, the term takes on a much broader meaning.
The concept behind creating a more sustainable business is simple. For any business to maintain a competitive advantage and achieve long-term success in today’s economy, it must focus and excel in the following 3 areas:
1. People – Business must treat all individuals (employees, customers, and the community) fairly.
2. Planet – Business must operate in an environmentally responsible manner.
3. Profits – Business must achieve an acceptable return on investment and a healthy bottom line.
These 3 principles, working together, create a synergistic element, thus sustaining a healthy business. What is good for the people, is good for the planet is good for the business. While many focus solely one the Planet when addressing sustainable business practices, there is clearly more to the overall picture.
Companies around the World are beginning to be held to higher standards of corporate social responsibility, including the environmental impact of their business practices. Achieving true sustainability should be a goal for all businesses. To focus of the “triple bottom line” and strive for growth in these 3 areas of people, planet and profits it will assure a successful business.
In future articles we’ll take a closer look at each of the three aspects of the “triple bottom line”. There are many factors which come into play within each of these three aspects of sustainability which deserve a more detailed explanation. Any way you look at it, to operate a sustainable business simply means that you are focused on the future. It only makes sense to care about more than just the bottom line. When businesses begin to shift their attention from profits to people and the planet everyone wins.