As the modern day consumer and the environment evolve overtime, the business model must evolve as well. Companies can no longer rely on their products alone to generate revenue. Consumers have become aware of the effects of mass production on the environment, and a shift towards more sustainable purchasing practices has exploded across the world. To keep up with this massive step in the right direction, more and more businesses have begun practicing sustainable business strategies to maximize profits, strengthen stakeholders, and leave a positive impact on the environment. These strategies are all attempts by businesses to implement the Triple Bottom Line into their framework. The Triple Bottom Line is a business concept that incorporates more than just profit into measures of performances; the quality of the environment and the communities affected by the business should also be considered when measuring success. In short, companies should work towards appeasing the three Ps: people, planet, and profit.
People drive both the world and industry, but it is apparent that people are far from considered in traditional business models. In the modern world, it’s become less about the shareholders of a company, and more about the stakeholders involved. These stakeholders can be anybody - groups, communities, and institutions - that rely on or support the company. They represent the real lives that companies impact. It’s important for sustainable businesses to account for the societal impact they might have on their customers and employees. This helps to foster long term, meaningful relationships between customers and businesses and promote resilience in hard times. Patagonia is a pioneer in sustainable business strategies. They’ve created a 1 percent green tax on their profits that goes directly towards funding for environmental non-profits. They’ve also helped to facilitate the movement of funding and people to various environmental groups across the world.
Businesses and industry are responsible for most pollution in the environment today. Consumption of raw materials and emission of processed ones leads to ecological catastrophe and degradation of the Earth’s natural resources. In the age of information and awareness, it's important that businesses limit their material usage and lower their impact on a finite resource chain. Accounting for the planet helps maximize resource efficiency, breed innovation, and lower overall impact on the environment. There are numerous examples of companies pushing towards initiatives that lower environmental impact. Lego aims to use renewable energy to power their factories, and make 100 percent of their packaging materials reusable and recyclable by 2025. Nike has created their own branch of shoes manufactured from recycled materials to combat pollution rates and increase reuse rates.
The whole idea of a business is to create a source of feasible income for the people involved. Maximizing revenue and minimizing costs are usually on the forefront of a company's mind - but it has become apparent that implementing sustainable initiatives has helped to increase both revenue and public image, both of which are extremely important to any business. Burt’s Bees has found a balance between profit and sustainable production. Their signature lip balms are manufactured with recycled and plant based materials and their tampering seals are designed to use the least amount of plastic possible without ruining the purpose of the seal.
Businesses have so much power and influence on all aspects of the world, whether it be societal, environmental, or economic. While some companies have abused that power or misused that influence, they ultimately can do some incredible things to advance the world in all aspects of life. Working towards the Triple Bottom Line is only one of the many ways in which those incredible things can be brought into reality.
Innovative companies that incorporate the triple bottom line into their business model have been successful without jeopardizing their financial future, negatively impacting communities, or degrading the environment. Here at CIRT, we help companies' goals of the Triple Bottom Line come to life. We’ve made it our mission to increase recycling rates by making recycling information more accessible to consumers in a technologically-advanced world. We strive to increase circulation of recyclable materials in order to promote a circular economy and combat pollution rates. We’re a business dedicated to promoting the well-being of both the people we serve and the environment we protect.