Tuesday, October 21, 2008

ASBDC Chicago: Triple Bottom Line and Sustainability

Most entrepreneurs have a pretty good idea that they need to know about the bottom line. But which one? Usually, it's the economic bottom line, involving capital, i.e., money. But in recent years, business folks have focused on other bottom lines such as social (people capital) and environment (natural capital).

People in this movement use terms such as performance, features, reliability, durability, serviceability, aesthetics, and perceived quality.

In this economic climate, an appetite for cheaply-made items with planned obsolence may have come to an end. But brands that provide for a more sustainable future, concerned with health and safety, honesty, doing good as well as convenience, will come to the fore.

To that end, the leaders of the Going Green workshop I attended in September recommended these websites:
Branding for Sustainability
LOHAS - Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability
U.S. Green Building Council
Pennsylvania Material Trader - a free online service established in 2004 by the PA SBDC's Environmental Management Assistance Program to "help businesses find users for materials they have traditionally discarded; to turn 'one business's trash into another business's treasure.'"
Natural Capitalism enables organizations to increase profitability and efficiency while becoming more environmentally and socially responsible

Attending the session was Diane Wolverton, Wyoming SBDC state director, who earlier at the conference had given a workshop on sustainability. The Sustainable Business Cafe ning includes her PowerPoint presentation.

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