Sustainability: People, Planet, Profit
Sustainability is a word that’s been thrown around a lot these last few years. Mostly, companies use it as a buzz word. Maybe they’ve started recycling wasted office paper, or they’ve gone paperless. To them, sustainability is a way to save money, and get good PR.
At Bama, Sustainability is more than lip-service.
It is a strategy that we implement from the bottom line to the waistlines of our team members.
This is a good way to think about it:
At Bama, sustainability comes through in three major areas. These areas are applicable to a large corporation as well as to your own personal life.
We rarely think of ourselves in terms of sustainability. How long will we live? How good do we feel? How effective are we? As the old idiom goes: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. So, for us–and for you–prevention is key to personal sustainability.
We look at 5 metrics we can measure when looking at personal health. Those key metrics work very well when examining physical sustainability. The metrics are:
- HDL Cholesterol
- LDL Cholesterol
- BMI or Waist Circumference
- Blood Pressure
We have our employees get these key metrics tested once per year. We want them to be in the optimal level for their height and age, or at least be improving. Weight alone is not a great measure of health, and neither is BMI, but together all five of these numbers will give you a comprehensive view of your health.
It’s great to practice at home on the three R’s: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. This is what we implement across our organization. Remember, every time you throw something out, it has to go somewhere. An old chair, a plastic bottle, an old cell phone. Imagine if everyone in the world threw these things away – where would all that trash go? Could you reuse the chair – cut it up for firewood, or donate it? Could you slap a coat of paint on it and snazz up an old room? What about the bottle? You should recycle it. And the cell phone? Think about sending it to Gazelle.com, or donating it to cellphonesforsoldiers.com! There are always options to consider.
In our company, we try to minimize the amount of resources used and waste/emissions generated when making our products. We have committed to Zero Waste in Landfills for 2013. Over 96% of our food waste was recycled into animal feed this year.
Our ultimate sustainability goal is to reach zero waste by the year 2017!
This is what the business guys want to see. Are you sustainable financially? Are you spending more than you make? Are you in a lot of debt? All of these questions contribute to your financial solubility – both in business and personally.
If you charge more on credit cards every month than you make, then that is not a sustainable model. If you have too many student loans, and there’s not enough money left to buy groceries, then that too is unsustainable. You can work with something like Mint.com to help you figure out where you might be having budget problems. Mint will help you organize your spending, create budgets and even put money away for a rainy day.
In business, things are much the same. Our goal is to “manage financial viability so that we and our business partners can make wholesome products for many generations.”
Can you think of ways that you can improve your personal sustainability?