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How to be a sustainable entrepreneur Part 1
Entrepreneurs are business people who identify problems and challenges, find market gaps or develop better solutions to existing methods. Entrepreneurship transforms the world by solving big issues and initiating social change, creating innovative products or presenting new life-changing solutions. First and foremost, a successful business should be able to financially sustain itself and moreover, be profitable at a certain stage.
Business operations impact the environment. That is why entrepreneurs have certain responsibilities towards the environment. Having considered their responsibility and values in its concept they call themselves sustainable entrepreneurs. There is a big difference between being an entrepreneur and a sustainable entrepreneur. The sustainable entrepreneur does not only think about his business’ profitability but also outside the box. He takes into account all levels of sustainability that his or her business may affect.
Let’s take a short look back into history. In the 18th century, Carl von Carlowitz, a German mining administrator, experienced in his job many natural disasters, such as summers with low precipitation or disruptive windstorms. Especially those tree populations that were sold as economic goods suffered very badly, and caused problems for the local economy. Therefore, Carlowitz formulated ideas for the “sustainable use” of the forest. His view that only so much wood should be cut as could be regrown through planned reforestation projects, became an important guiding principle of modern forestry.
Later, appointed by the UN, the mission of the Brundtland Commission is to unite countries to pursue sustainable development. According to the Commission in its 1987 report “Our Common Future”, “Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
Today sustainability is viewed as an overall approach and often visualized in the triple bottom line model.
The concept asks you to see beyond the traditional line of business of the profits that your business makes socially, environmentally and economically. The circles are all the same size which indicates none of the three fields is more important than the other. The overlapping area emphasizes the reciprocal connection and dependency of the three sustainability fields.