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How to be a sustainable entrepreneur Part 2
The triple bottom line approach expands the traditional accounting framework to include two other performance areas: the social and environmental impacts of their company. It was the entrepreneur John Elkington who coined the term in 1994.
The goal of environmental sustainability is a responsible interaction with the environment to conserve natural resources and to develop alternate sources of power. It includes climate protection and the preservation of biodiversity. At the same time, it is to reduce pollution in the environment.
For businesses, social sustainability encompasses the impact of corporations on people and society. Moreover, social sustainability is fighting against poverty, maintaining a high standard of public health, paying fair wages to its employees and providing equal opportunities for applicants. Furthermore, socially sustainable entrepreneurs acknowledge minority rights, preserve cultural heritage and intergenerational equity so that every generation holds the earth in common.
Economic sustainability refers to practices that support long-term economic growth without negatively impacting the social, environmental, and cultural aspects of the community. That means despite creating economic value, it is important to generate macro economical benefit and stability, cover the basic needs of your employees and stakeholders, pursue qualitative growth and take external costs into account such as the disposal of environmental damage.
In 2015, all United Nations Member States decided on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. 17 Sustainable Development Goals were formulated. They provide a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now & into the future.
The Sustainable Development Goals are:
- No Poverty
- Zero Hunger
- Good Health and Well-being
- Quality Education
- Gender Equality
- Clean Water and Sanitation
- Affordable and Clean Energy
- Decent Work and Economic Growth
- Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
- Reduced Inequalities
- Sustainable Cities and Communities
- Responsible Consumption and Production
- Climate Action
- Life below Water
- Life On Land
- Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions
- Partnerships for the Goals
It demands great responsibility not only on societies but also on businesses. An entrepreneur may not have all the means a large corporation has. Still, there are actions and small steps that they can initiate to contribute to the progress towards the SDGs.