The 3Ps of sustainability – People, Planet, and Profit – enable a company to harness its complete potential and add real value to its business. In a post-COVID world, companies are quickly responding to the need for a greener, renewable and sustainable business strategy which can withstand unforeseen circumstances. Companies have to adapt a perspective where they prioritize multiple stakeholders rather than focusing on only bringing in revenue. In this series, we will discuss the ‘Planet’ aspect of the Triple Bottom Line and what it means for a company’s transition to sustainability.Topics in this article
‘Planet’ forms the second leg in the 3Ps, right after ‘People’. There is a growing trend among consumers around the world to change the product and services that they use due to concerns about climate change. The graph below, according to a survey from IPSOS, suggests that a global average of 69% consumers have made the change. It is interesting to note that consumers in developing economy such as India are willing to alter their consumption habits. On the contrary, consumers in economically developed regions such as the US and Japan have dropped below the global average.
Eco-conscious consumers are increasingly putting pressure on companies to take responsibility and adapt to sustainable business models. This way companies are heading to reduce their carbon emission and utilize finite resources to generate maximum value out of their products. They are making the attempt to engage in environmentally charged activities which not only lead to profit but also ensure environmental sustainability.
When it comes to corporate sustainability, company directors and investors are aware of the pressure that consumers are putting on them to be more conscious. The ecological pillar compels them to be accountable and understand that they have to abide by certain rules and regulations concerning environmental issues. This also means that companies come under the close scrutiny of governments who are responsible for implementing policies which focus on environmental developments. The UN has set up Sustainable Development Goals which address specific environmental concerns, such as:
Companies are expected to abide by these concerns and to work towards improving on them.
Despite its necessity, a challenge that businesses often face is how to measure the ecological pillar. Under the ‘Profit’ pillar which can be calculated in numbers, the Ecological Pillar cannot be reflected in income statements. It is also not always possible to quantify the waste generated or the CO2 emission, land reclamation, and other externalities which could be consequences of the company’s activities.
One quick solution to this, however, could be benchmarking. It is a fruitful process of understanding, identifying, and analyzing the practices which the company takes over for sustainable development. It is beneficial in comparing the company’s environmental performance against certain standards of measure, such as whether the company has reduced waste generation or if they have become energy efficient. In the case of a transport and logistic company the benchmarking might help them gauge fuel spending or consumption of electricity. Benchmarking may differ across industries but it is a standard process of comparison through which companies can set their sustainable goals.
Our latest business simulation game, The Triple Connection, engages its participants in implementing a sustainable strategy for a virtual chocolate milk manufacturer. The Triple Connection finds its roots in the cacao industry and follows the path to create maximum value in its sustainable value chain. This kind of value creation requires multiple high-level roles to align on the concept of the 3Ps: People, Planet, Prosperity!
Now you know that the ‘Planet’ in the 3Ps refers to the Ecological Pillar of sustainability. It takes into account the impact of businesses and companies on the environment. The Ecological Pillar influences companies to create their business models by considering reduction of waste generation, efficient utilization of finite resources, and creating a safer ecological balance. The Ecological Pillar is largely influenced by the Social Pillar (or ‘People’ in the 3Ps) as consumers push companies to take responsibility. It might be difficult for companies to measure the Ecological Pillar since it does not reply well to numbers. However, with industry-wide benchmarking and government policies, companies can assess their ecological performance.
The 3Ps of sustainability – People, Planet, and Profit – enable a company to harness its complete potential and add real value to its business. In a post-COVID world, companies are quickly responding to the need for a greener, renewable and sustainable business strategy which can withstand unforeseen circumstances. Companies have to adapt a perspective where they prioritize multiple stakeholders rather than focusing on only churning revenue. In this series, we will discuss the ‘People’ aspect of the Triple Bottom Line and what it means for a company’s transition to sustainability.
In a society that is becoming more aware about making the future sustainable, it is often a matter of discourse whether or not green governance is efficient enough. Green Governance is expected to be an essential driver for restructuring, recategorising, and rebuilding the relationship between humans and green technological revolution. It can play an influential role in the economic development of a sustainable future.
Sustainability has a new connection! Our newest business simulation game, The Triple Connection, is finally out. This is a huge milestone for us and we aim to make it also a milestone in the transition towards more sustainable business practices. During the Inchainge Connect Educator Conference 2022, our co-founder Egge Haak revealed the Triple Connection for the first time ever – and we are proud to say that it is ALL ABOUT SUSTAINABILITY!
My professional passions are sustainable operations & supply chain, managers & management, projects & project management, training & teaching and business simulations & experiential learning.
My latest book, “Mastering the circular economy. A practical approach to the circular business model transformation”, was published in May 2021 by Kogan Page. Previous books are “Mastering the Supply Chain. Principles, practice and real-life applications” from 2019, available in English and Dutch and “The Perfect Pass. What the manager can learn from the football trainer”, from 2012, published in Dutch, English and Spanish.