When these initiatives are carried out in a fair and just manner towards employees or contractors, then a win-win-win scenario is achieved. This approach of increasing profitability and improving the environment, while serving the community well through fair employment practices, is known as the "triple bottom line" and is the core component for sustainability programs, sometimes referred to as corporate social responsibility (CARS). The benefits of a triple bottom line approach to business are numerous.
Many companies find that looking at their operations "through a sustainability lens" helps them identify opportunities that they were previously unaware of. Cost savings opportunities are identified that help drive waste out of organizations, reducing their environmental Impact. The benefits go beyond the obvious financial and environmental gains, however. Sustainability programs give companies an opportunity to distinguish themselves from their competitors.
Studies show that employees want to work for socially responsible companies, so an effective sustainability program will aid In the recruiting of new hires. Proactively reducing harmful environmental practices can also potentially reduce liability and can keep organizations one step ahead of future regulatory changes that may restrict, or even outright ban, practices that are currently allowed. Future columns will provide many real-world examples of triple bottom line Initiatives that any company can Implement.