April '19

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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S ustainable business practice is a phrase that has some buzz. It's trendy. People agree that busi- nesses should be sustainable, but how many really know why sustainability is good for a business or even what being sustainable actually means? Is being sus- tainable simply something a business does to look good for its customers, or is there real, meaningful benefits to being sustain- able? Do businesses that practice sustain- ability receive benefits that conventional businesses don't? Basically, what's sustain- ability all about, and what are their ben- efits to your business? DEFINING SUSTAINABILITY There are different definitions of what ex- actly a sustainable business is, and different companies may follow sustainable business practices in different ways. A basic defini- tion deals with the idea that a sustainable business is one that manages and coordi- nates social, environmental, and financial concerns to ensure responsible success achieved by ethical means. A sustainable business, unlike a conventional business, manages what is called a triple bottom line, often referred to as people, profits, and planet. Sustainability is also often connect- ed with environmental consciousness and a commitment to being environmentally friendly while also generating a profit. The concept of sustainability is not to be con- fused with concepts like "corporate social responsibility." Although the two concepts share some of the same principles, the one difference is that a sustainable business is one that endures over time. Becoming a sustainable business is an at- tainable goal for almost any business, and it doesn't always require an all at once change to achieve that goal. The first thing to do is set measurable goals about becoming sus- tainable. The goal of "making our business sustainable" is too broad to do much good. What you need are smaller goals that can be monitored and measured. Some goals for a sustainable business might be to re- duce waste, recycle more, or implement Sustainable Practices K R I S T I N E S H R E V E 4 6 P R I N T W E A R A P R I L 2 0 1 9

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