What does being sustainable mean for a shop?
There is variation in what exactly a sustainable business is, and different companies may follow sustainable business practices in different ways. A basic definition deals with the idea that a sustainable business is one that manages and coordinates social, environmental, and financial concerns to ensure responsible success achieved by ethical means.
A sustainable company, unlike a comnventional business, maintains what is called a triple bottom line, often referred to as people, profits, and planet. Sustainability is also often connected with environmental consciousness and a commitment to being environmentally friendly while also generating a profit. The concept of sustainability is not to be confused with concepts like corporate social responsibility. Although the two ideas share some of the same principles, the one difference is that a sustainable business is one that endures over time.
One thing to remember is that becoming a sustainable business only works if you have buy-in from all parties involved. This means both your employees and your customers must understand why your company is doing what it is doing, and what benefits will accrue from these new practices. Make sure to communicate clearly at every step in the process. Employees will need to understand the benefits of changing how they do the jobs they do. Customers will need to understand how the new business practices will create value for them, either in actual cost savings or in environmental or other intangible benefits.