The Four Pillars of Sustainability – why should you care?
Last week we reposted a well written post from Organics Aotearoa on the principles of organic farming, today we want to share another guiding concept, The Four Pillars of Sustainability. Sustainable development is the sweet spot where human, social, environmental, and economic needs can be satisfied all at the same time without neglecting one other.
Economics, Environment, Social and Human.
Profitable and growing but not at the expense of the land or community. This means that our business needs to be growing and profitable to be sustainable. The fact that we are thriving and growing as a business highlights to us that we are delivering products that are useful and valuable to society. If a company is focused exclusively on economics (profit) it is not sustainable because the environment, society and people will eventually pay the price.
The foundation of why we are an organics store. Enviromental sustainability aims at preserving and restoring the environment. This looks like packing our shelves with local suppliers first before international ones. Wherever possible choosing green technologies and renewable energy sources. The promotion of correct recycling and composting within the workplace and favouring products with recyclable packaging.
Social responsibility refers to how we care about our people. It looks like treating our employees with kindness and respect, paying reasonable salaries, offering opportunities of education, and creating a safe, equal, and inclusive environment that supports wholeheartedly social wellbeing. The pillar of social sustainability supports honesty and reciprocity within the local community, developing thriving social relationships and economic opportunities.
Human sustainability focuses on contributing to humanity. This looks like supporting charities and buying from businesses that provide access to food, water, healthcare, education, justice, fair work conditions for those under their guardianship. Human sustainability looks like human rights and focusing on nurturing and developing the human component of a business and society at large.
These pillars encourage future focused business practices that support and nourish both company and community, something that we are dedicated to practicing and perfecting at Down to Earth Organics.
Original definitions sourced from Sustainable Success by S. N. Rinalducci.