Sunday, November 08, 2009

Perspective: Sustainability's Fourth Bottom Line

From Triple Pundit -- standing for "people, planet, profit" -- we have this piece on the importance of a fourth "p": Perspective.

The importance of perspective is illustrated through different approaches to increasing profitability.  One approach is reducing costs, but this path has a logical and finite end point — eventually we run out of things to cut and profit plateaus.  The only long-term sustainable approach is strengthening the company’s production and competitive position.

That same logic applies to the “planet” and “people” elements of the triple bottom line.  Reducing carbon emissions, for instance, is important and necessary, but it only takes us so far.  Beyond simply reducing harmful outputs, organizations must improve and strengthen the resiliency of the environment, helping ensure it can withstand and thrive in the face of the threats that accelerating change creates.  Resiliency must be the ability to not only recover from stress but also anticipate and thrive in the face of it. And it is vital for any company that seeks to be truly sustainable in a changing world.

This post reflects sound and smart thinking.  I like the way the author uses examples from GE and the Department of Defense to illustrate how a temporally expanded perspective helps "improve the resiliency, security and economic strength of all the enterprises that embrace it." 

Read the rest>>

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