Sustainability: why the third P – profit?

Do you remember the ABC of sustainability? We talked about the 3 P’s of sustainability.: people, planet and profit. But why “profit”? Because we need to be realistic. In the current economic system, sustainable business practices won’t succeed, if the third P – profit – is not fulfilled. In reality, sustainability is a business opportunity. It can be a way to reduce operating costs and consequently increase margins or lower prices for the customer.

This is not just empty talk. Out there we have good examples, such as  Koen Pack, which is a global supplier of cardboard packaging for flowers and plants. In the Dutch market, they decided to transition their packaging from linear use (from production to waste) to circular use (from production to production). All Koen Pack packaging in the Netherlands is now collected by contracted suppliers, delivered to a processing facility, and ultimately transformed into new packaging for flowers. This way, KoenPack keeps approximately 5,000 tons of its packaging’s base material in a sustainable cycle per year, significantly reducing the need for new material (trees) and the associated costs for the company and the environment. Through this initiative, the company achives SDG 12 (responsible consumption and production) while also reducing operational costs. This approach attracts investors, more and more of whom consider ESG aspects in their investment decisions, including European banks, which will have to follow the above-mentioned EU Regulation 2020/852 and related acts in their lending decisions. The company also addresses market opportunities as customers increasingly demand and expect products and services  with sustainability elements. 

In this way, they have successfully combined the good with the useful, pursuing sustainability while generating profit. The result? A successful sustainable company.