Business Sustainability – triple bottom line

The three Ps in business aside from the well known marketing methods is People Profit and Planet, but how many businesses are actually prepared for sustainability?

What is Sustainability?

Business sustainability is often defined as managing the triple bottom line - a process by which companies manage their financial, social and environmental risks, obligations and opportunities. These three impacts are sometimes referred to as profits, people and planet.

A sustainable business, or green business, is an enterprise that has minimal negative impact on the global or local environment, community, society, or economy—a business that strives to meet the triple bottom line. Often, sustainable businesses have progressive environmental and human rights policies.

The terms sustainable and sustainability are used to describe many different approaches toward improving our way of life. Sustainability does not (and should not) have a rigid definition. ... Sustainability means living within the resources of the planet without damaging the environment now or in the future.

The four main types of sustainability are human, social, economic and environmental. It is important to specify which type of sustainability one is dealing with as they are all so different and should not be fused together, although some overlap to a certain extent.

What impact does your business have on the surrounding environment?

Create long-term financial value

Know how their actions affect the environment and actively work to reduce their impact

Care about their employees, customers and communities and work to make positive social change

Understand these three elements are intimately connected to each other

What should I do?

Think Paperless

Going paperless is a saviour to many facts of a typical working day. It saves the most precious commodity of them all – time. It’s estimated that employees spend one-third of their time looking for paper documents.

Adopting this strategy means that important information can be accessed within seconds and provided electronically to customers. The satisfaction levels and loyalty of your consumers will increase as a result whereas your operating costs will reduce significantly.

Paperless companies are ultimately more efficient and expandable; therefore, this is one admirable approach to protecting our planet and a few trees along the way.

Think Paperless
This process is the primary thought when an organisation contemplates its green credentials. Begin with paper and card as they are more often than not the most visible and highest volume waste product in the office – 50 per cent of all waste from businesses is made up of paper.
This recycling system can then branch out into other materials such as food packaging, plastic, drinks cans, cartridges, toners and glass.

Make your staff aware of the procedures and ensure clear communication channels so that this salvaging practice is taken seriously. Investing in high-quality waste bins is paramount and comprising waste bins for each recycling option will diminish the risk of waste streams becoming contaminated.

Energy efficiency

According to Phil Gilbert, director of Customer Solutions at E.ON, ‘Investing in energy efficiency or in new generation technologies can make sound investments, often paying back in only a few years.’

This is because cutting down on the amount of energy used in the workplace can help a business become more sustainable and slash a company’s carbon footprint.

All this often requires are subtl

e changes and eliminating harmful traits. This can include turning off machines when not in operation, investing in low energy lighting and implementing energy efficient heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment.

Greening your reputation

Keep your customers in the loop about your eco-friendly principles and what steps you are taking to further your green image. This can even encourage other businesses to follow suit and join you on the path to sustainability.

Carbon-footprint labels, which indicate a product’s environmental impact, are becoming more widespread and are a way to attract customers and investors who look favorably on companies with environmental policies.

It is now expected that businesses take a more proactive approach in their waste management and make a positive contribution to the environment. Remember that even if steps seem small at first, those efforts can build to produce tremendous results.

If you need any support in making your business more sustainable and equally as profitable contact us on 0115 784 4664 or email

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