“Having a greater purpose and embedding it into the DNA of your business is critical to developing deeper relationships with customers in an age when creating meaningful connections is getting harder and harder.”
Trisa Thompson, chief responsibility officer at Dell
In 2007, I first became fascinated with the triple bottom line approach to business. At the time, I was working in healthcare as a consultant and could see the waste in that field everyday. I began the process to learn more. One thing was sure, I was passionate in finding ways to integrate this triple bottom line approach into my business.
The triple bottom line is an accounting framework with three parts: social, environmental and financial. Some organizations have adopted the TBL framework to evaluate their performance in a broader perspective to create greater business value.
In 2010, I made a conscious decision to link my business activities directly with social and environmental initiatives. At the time, there was a strong movement to get business to adopt changes and be better environmental stewards. I branded my program “MoreThanGreen TM” to reflect my focus all parts of the triple bottom line — people, planet and profit.
“What gets Measured gets Managed”
Traditional business growth and success have metrics attached to programs and more, and these metrics measured. When a business adopts an impact model they also must identify the metrics for social and environmental initiatives to measure the impact of these initiatives.
Starting in 2015, I began the process of introducing metrics I could measure. They were small, easy to implement and measure. I began by measuring the changes I was making (rather than the impact these changes make). T
For example, I recorded the changes in the lightbulbs to LED, low flow toilets and faucets, use of transit and volunteer hours, donations to charities (as a percentage of gross revenues) and more. I used my website and blog to share the efforts and goals. Although this was a good first step is was not exactly results focused.
My efforts took a downward swing when I stepped away from business for almost 2 years. Since that time, I have take a proactive approach to evolve and advance my impact efforts and the systems and metrics to track these efforts.
I look forward to sharing more about the metrics and results in future posts. What I have learned along the way, is that combining impact initiatives with sound business strategies in a small business is good for business. In fact, it has been much easier and less time consuming than I once thought.
So, why did I undergo this transformation? I strongly believe that when a business adopts practices that deliver a positive social &/or environmental impact they create a ripple effect that benefits the planet, the people in their organization and their community and their bottomline.
In fact, 60% of consumers say brands should make it easier to see its values and its position on important issues at the point of sale (engageforgood.com). We have shared our values and our sustainability and community engagement efforts on this website.
Becoming a certified B-Corporation is next on our horizon. This is a big step but one I am embracing with open arms. I believe that when businesses align their current practices with impact initiatives, activate and measure their efforts they will achieve significant results that create prosperity for the organization, key stakeholders, the community and the planet. Plus, these efforts attract new clients and employees who align with your values and efforts.
In future posts I will share more on our efforts to this goal. Going forward I am also committed to being more transparent in communicating our impact. Watch for our IMPACT Communique.
Are you a social entrepreneur or a small to medium business interested in taking a stand and becoming a better social &/or environmental impact organization?
Our online courses, coaching, masterminds, training and consulting services may offer the right solution for you. Book an Ignition Session to explore how we can assist in your transformation and evolution.