By Michaela Kapala
Sustainability Studies student
Sustainability is one of the red-hot buzzwords in today’s business world. Entrepreneurs ranging from small businessmen such as David Yudkin, owner of Hot Lips Pizza, to CEO’s such as Ray Anderson of Interface, Inc., are becoming more and more conscious of the economics of sustainability and how consumer demand is shifting.
National organizations such as AASHE and LEED are two widely known tools for businessmen and universities to learn about sustainable practices that will increase efficiency in energy and water usage and reduce waste and emissions. These resources also provide effective procedures on how to implement these practices within their organization. The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) is a similar tool which business and organizations can access for resources related to sustainability.
The (GRI) is an interactive reporting framework where businesses and organizations can report on their progress towards sustainable goals. Their user-friendly website contains pertinent information for business owners who are looking for the definition of sustainable reporting and for organizations who have already began reporting and want further networking opportunities. The GRI’s Reporter Starter Kit is an especially useful kick start towards sustainable reporting. It contains a creative and cohesive video outlining the 5-step process that GRI recommends businesses use to get started. They also have an extensive networking hub where individuals can report and promote their sustainability reporting schedule. By providing these guidance tools and resources, GRI is an effective tool that business owners and organizations can utilize to make sustainability a standard practice within their operation.
While GRI seems to be more geared toward the business spectrum, the general public can still benefit from the pool of resources that GRI has put together. While non-business owners might be more concerned with the two component of the triple bottom line, people and planet, being exposed to the procedures and action plan a sustainable business would have will allow individuals to gain an insight on the third component of the triple bottom line, prosperity. Sustainability should be synonymous with the triple bottom line and individuals, businessmen and homeowners alike, should be comfortable and adequate in taking the bottom line into consideration when creating sustainability action plans to meet their goals