To fully understand the 3 Ps of sustainability, you need to know what each one means and how it ties into the day-to-day running of a business.
The first P of sustainability is people, and this represents the social responsibility of a business. A sustainable business should consider the rights, wellbeing and working conditions of employees, as well as everyone who is part of the wider supply chain. It involves ensuring fair and equal treatment of individuals who work for the business, with a big focus on human rights. Many people think of the planet when they think about sustainable businesses, forgetting that issues such as poverty, education, health and wellbeing are just as important.
The second P of sustainability is the planet. It’s there to remind businesses that being environmentally friendly should be a major consideration and that every business process and operation impacts the world around us. There are many things a business can do to benefit the planet, such as choosing a local supplier instead of an international one or switching to renewable energy. Even small changes, such as encouraging everyone in the workplace to recycle, or reducing energy consumption, can make a big difference.
The third and final P of sustainability is profit. This determines that a business needs to be profitable to be sustainable; otherwise, the business will struggle to run and eventually fail. It involves creating business processes and practices that support economic growth, profitability and the efficient use of resources while also considering the sustainable implications of doing so. By showcasing profit, a business is showcasing that it’s delivering something valuable to society. If the market is already saturated a business is unlikely to be profitable, and will struggle to be sustainable. Profitability is a key part of ensuring the success and viability of a sustainable business on a long-term basis. Without making a profit, there’s no room for a business to make positive environmental changes.