Let’s stop talking sustainability and start talking good business

By Hayley Morris


Sustainability is not a new concept. But it does require new thinking. New thinking that redefines the current business-as-usual environment.


It is about longer term thinking.


It is about placing equal value on social and environmental returns, as we currently place on economic returns.


It is about valuing your employees and creating a safe, happy, healthy and productive workplace.


It is about being the good guy and letting people know about it.


It is about checking to see if the values we have in our personal life translate into our business life, and if they don’t, it’s about asking ‘why not?’


It’s about measuring more than just your economic performance and understanding that investment in one area may have a return in a completely different area of the business.


Our company and other social business ventures have these concepts at the very heart of the way they operate. But it’s not only relevant to the new wave of organisations; some of the world’s most well-known business leaders have come together to create a movement and challenge the very concept of the way we do business.


The B Team is a new non-profit organisation founded by Sir Richard Branson and Puma Chairman Jochen Zeitz for the purpose of building a movement for a new way of doing business. It’s called The B Team as we need a plan B, because clearly plan A hasn’t worked!


They launched Plan B on the 13th June with a joint declaration from 13 business leaders.


“These are not the outcomes we envisioned as we grew our companies; this is not the dream that inspired us. And the overwhelming conclusion we’ve reached is that businesses have been a major contributor to the problems, and we as business leaders have the responsibility of creating sustainable solutions.”


“Our vision of the future is a world in which the purpose of business is to become a driving force for social, environmental and economic benefit,” the declaration states. “Our mission is to help develop a ‘Plan B’ that puts people and planet alongside profit. Plan A — where companies have been driven by the profit motive alone — is no longer acceptable.”