Is this a new way of doing business? Is it a fad? Is it legal? Is it difficult? Will someone please explain it to me!

I think we all know the way most businesses work and are supposed to work, especially if they’re public companies. The bottom line is what’s it’s all about. It’s all about the money, the profits, the return to investor. In fact, public companies are mandated to make the most money they can for their shareholders.
That of course doesn’t stop private companies from following the same program … make money, money more money.t All companies fit the same mould, but traditionally, this has been the way it works.

So what happens?
We go into a country, starting with our own, then into foreign places,always looking for the minerals, the gold, the diamonds, the coal, the oil, the gas,greedily seeking out the ‘valuable’ commodities of each country. We dig and we drill,and we strip and we burn and we dam. We displace and we relocate and we drown. We’re focused on the "gold at the end of the rainbow".

Do we notice anything else? And if we do, is what we notice just a hindrance? Does it matter if villages are relocated, if families are torn, if land is polluted and if rivers dry up or die, choked with toxins? Does it matter if people lose their way of life? Does it matter if we can’t breathe the air or drink the water? Does it matter if the ice caps melt? Does it matter?

The Triple Bottom Line Concept

triple bottom line is a balanced approach to business. It takes into account the social,environmental and economics of a venture. It understands that profit alone has and continues, to ruin the world. A one or even two legged stool doesn’t cut it. What about the people? What about the environment? How can we still make a decent profit while considering the effects on the whole?

The indigenous peoples around the world understood this because they were in touch with the earth, they were connected to every aspect of it. They understood the use of water, of land, of sharing. When the 1st Nations peoples planned, they thought into the future, seven generations into the future. They needed to know that what they did today would do no harm tomorrow. They loved and respected nature because they understood that it was a vital part of themselves. No separation existed for them. Luckily they hadn’t yet heard about man having dominion over the earth.

Let’s think in three’s when we take on our next project
Back to today. Triple bottom line. Let’s think in three’s when we take on our next project. What will be the effect on the people who live there? What will it do to their way of life? How will they make a living if the land is taken away? What does it do to their communities? Will it enhance their lives? And what of the environment? The animals?
Will we take away their homes? Will we strip the trees? Will the soil then blow away or wash away? Will the land become barren? Just another piece of desert? And water?
What about that? Will we waste it by planting thirsty crops? By feeding thousands upon thousands of cattle? By mining for gold?

These are some of the questions that need to be asked before we begin our venture, our new business … socially responsible business.

And taking these things into consideration means we likely won’t make the same kinds of profits. Some of the money will need to address the social and environmental challenges. We’ll need to be content with less money. We’ll need to curb our greed.

But making a bit less on the bottom line means we’ll store up assets for the future and the well being of the planet. It means we care about each other and our connectivity. Because like it or not, we are all connected. What someone does in the East will make ripples in the West.

A sustainable or hybrid company makes sure that all three legs of the stool are addressed. It’s written in its articles of incorporation. It becomes the foundation for the business values. Everything stems from these principles and in so doing, everything grows in a healthy, sustainable vibrant way, truly making a difference while making a dollar.

Author's Bio: 

David Howe & Ina Timmer, founders of Greenangels Financial, believe in a balanced approach to business. They consult to eco-entrepreneurs to help them achieve a sustainable business, environmentally, socially & economically.