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Let's Be Honest: Real Sustainability May Not Make Business Sense

By: for theguardian.com on Jan. 10, 2014
World News
Photo Credits: www.plasticstoday.com
 

Wouldn't it be nice if the best business decision were aligned with the best ecological decision? Some people say that often it already is, and that if corporations would only wake up and see it, the opposition between profit and planet would diminish.

The business case for sustainability draws on several core arguments. Pro-environmental practices create positive brand associations among consumers, politicians, and regulators. They also anticipate regulatory trends and position the company favourably when such policies become law. The mentality that seeks to further efficiency in materials and waste carries over into other realms. Similarly, the innovation required to overcome environmental challenges promotes innovation generally. And employees have higher morale when they believe in what their company is doing.

These considerations support the idea that the three items of the famous "triple bottom line" – people, profit, and planet – bear no inherent contradiction.

Unfortunately, nine times out of ten, the interests of profit blatantly conflict with the interests of people and planet, at least according to any reasonable calculation. What would happen to your company's bottom line if it switched over to a green electricity supplier at twice the cost? What would happen if it insisted on using only fair trade products – throughout the supply chain? We're not talking about cosmetic changes like recycled paper in the copiers or bike racks in the parking lot.

 Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/blog/sustainability-business-sense-profit-purpose

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[ business ] [ sustainability ]
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