The saying, “business as usual” now holds a new meaning. It is no longer sufficient in the eyes of consumers, employees, and other stakeholders to only meet traditional standards of business success. For that reason, in this article you will learn about the importance of sustainability and the reasons why businesses and entrepreneurs should incorporate it into their business model.
Why is sustainability important? A simple reply would be — because our future depends on it. Business sustainability and positive impact are something that all businesses, no matter of size, are confronting today. It is necessary to address a truly sustainable transformation that integrates strategic and operational changes that will allow business models to be more responsible for their social and environmental impacts.
Entrepreneurs and projects that embrace a triple bottom line are concerned with how their businesses affect people, both employees and citizens at large in the communities they serve. They also track their environmental impact and approach their work sustainably so that the planet does not suffer as a result of their line of business.
The triple bottom line approach to business aligns the dimensions of People, Planet and Profit as desirable positive outcomes for business. Consumers and users have become more interested in supporting companies that align with their beliefs. All businesses (new, old or in process of creation) are expected to show a commitment to sustainability. Teams, employees, customers, and clients are all truly interested in sustainability efforts, and they make their employment and purchasing decisions accordingly.
An example of a company that has succeeded while embracing this model is the outdoor gear designer Patagonia. Not only does Patagonia, a Certified B Corporation, place a priority on advancing environmental causes, but it is well known for its employee-friendly work culture.
Understanding and operating through a triple bottom line framework offers opportunities for optimization, innovation, and improvement in entrepreneurship and projects as well as established businesses.
Engaging a business model with comprehensive consideration of people, planet, and prosperity will ultimately lead to increased resilience and cost savings, and overall success for all stakeholders involved.
While new business models continue to evolve, there is still much work for entrepreneurs and organizations, no matter the industry, sector, or job position. Through the triple bottom line framework and the considerations of a circular business model, changemakers have the opportunity to strategically engage colleagues and leadership.