What is Sustainability?
The most widely accepted definition of sustainability or sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. (Brundtland Commission 1983).
What does this have to do with business?
The business community has always met its own needs. Companies have happily operated in their silos, many measuring success strictly by the financial bottom line.
But business as usual doesn’t work anymore.
The reality is that all businesses are interconnected with the social fabric and the natural environment that surrounds them. How they operate, treat their employees, consume energy and manage waste affects the world right outside their doors. No longer can they ignore their business social responsibilities.
In fact, increasingly, customers, investors, regulators and the public at large demand that businesses take responsibility for their impact on the environment and on the communities in which they operate. Environmental stewardship and social responsibility must become part of the DNA of today’s business.
The triple bottom line: people, planet, profits
In today’s world, the triple bottom line (TBL) looks beyond a company’s financial bottom line to its environmental and social influences. The TBL calls on a company to be conscious of its actions and the resulting impact on the world. Being aware of these impacts and working toward improving them can drive profitability.
Today’s successful businesses are not only more aware – they are accountable. They are measuring their impact on the environment as well as their progress in reducing it. They are quantifying their contribution to the communities where they work and live. They are making the triple bottom line their new barometer for success, and in doing so they are discovering a new kind of prosperity – and all the benefits that come with it.
Doing what’s right for your business is what’s right for your city
Are you a business in the city of Hamilton that wants to learn more about sustainability and how to achieve triple bottom line results? Find out how Sustainable Hamilton can help.