Profits and Purpose: How “Doing Good” Can Be a Competitive Advantage
Sustainability. Social consciousness. Upcycling. Pre-cycling. Global warming versus climate change. What does it all really mean and why should you care? Well, as a business owner, you are in a unique position. Businesses have the ability to tackle sustainability issues linked to consumption, waste, recycling, clean energy, education, equality and climate change (to name a few) more so than individuals - and faster than government. But even more importantly, businesses have a lot to gain financially. In today’s environment, endorsing and implementing sustainable business practices has a competitive advantage. Not only can it help you cut costs, increase market share and motivate the best people to work for you, it can propel your business to the top as a market leader. For the past few weeks, I have been taking a course in sustainability through the Harvard Business School. The main questions I had going into this course were – what does it mean for businesses to be sustainable and what would it take to motivate businesses to operate sustainably? What I learned was 1) that the definition of sustainability is much broader than I expected and 2) profitability motivates businesses more than good intentions, but good intentions can lead to enormous success.