I’m sitting in front of my computer in the early hours of the morning, trying to string together coherent sentences that will ultimately form my entrance essay for business school. I’m working on defining, in 500 words or less, why I believe receiving an MBA in sustainable business will help me in my career. I keep coming back to one phrase.
Sustainable business should be the only way to do business.
It’s simplistic, but in my core, it’s what I believe. To backtrack for a moment, sustainable business is defined as enterprise that has no negative impact on the global or local environment, community, society, or economy—a business that strives to meet the triple bottom line. People, planet, profits – simple. Finding the concept of sustainable business was like finding a belief system that I had always held but never knew was feasible. We’ve lived in a world where business meant profits, looking at the bottom line (singular) and doing what made everyone the most money.
And, great! Making money is something we all strive for in order to live and grow and improve ourselves and our families. But there are other elements affected, inevitably and irrevocably by our decision to turn a profit. The waste produced by mass manufacturing, the people exploited by moving jobs overseas to lower costs, the energy consumed by developing, producing and shipping products globally – these are all side effects of the capitalist state we have created. But it hasn’t been until recently that most businesses, not just some, are determing that it’s really the triple-bottom line that needs to be addressed and, surprisingly, finding out that what’s good for the environment, and good for the people, ultimately is good for the wallet as well.
I’m starting the MBA program next month and I couldn’t be more anxious to earn this degree, join this movement and further my belief that business and green can (and should) coexist.
Posted by: Ashley / follow me on Twitter