By Heather Haas
Sustainability is not about warm-green-fuzzy feelings. It’s more than environmentalism. Sustainability is resilience! More and more people are understanding that our current business and consumer practices are leading us down a dark path that we cannot continue indefinitely. It’s time for American businesses to adapt to changing times, or risk failure. Case in point, according to a recent survey by Cone Communications, 87% of “Americans have high expectations for companies to do more than make a profit.” Corporate America is embracing the ethos of the Triple Bottom Line. What is that exactly? It encompasses people, planet, and profit. Profits will always matter in business. A business is not a charity enterprise, and no rational person expects business owners to stop trying to make money. But making money at the expense of the health and well-being of the planet, and people, including your employees and your customers, has become passé.
Right now, world leaders are meeting in Paris for the UN Climate Change Conference, commonly referred to as COP 21. A recent Guardian article details the goals of the conference and notes that the United States has committed to cutting its emissions “by 26% to 28%, compared with 2005 levels, by 2025.” The article goes on to note that the combined pledges of the countries involved “are enough to hold the world to about 2.7C or 3C of warming.” Governments alone cannot solve all of our environmental and social problems. Business owners are natural leaders and it is time for you to lead the charge in the fight against climate change. Everyone is counting on you. Be a problem solver!
Your business can benefit in so many ways, becoming stronger and more resilient, by embracing sustainability now, ahead of your competition. Many of the principles of sustainability are also cost saving measures, helping you protect your companies financial standing, while engendering trust, loyalty, and respect from your customers and your employees. The good news is that there is plenty of help out there to guide you to a better tomorrow, and a stronger business. Join us, at the U.S. Green Chamber of Commerce, while we work to help American companies lead the way to a brighter future.