Applying the "Sustainable" philosophy to business processes

Creating a sustainable processI’m a big fan of sustainability.

I’m, admittedly, not as good at as I could be. But I’m constantly working to get better. I’ve been recycling for nearly 20 years (yes, kids, there was once a time when people didn’t recycle), I purchase clean energy, I shop for organic goods, I frequent Portland’s veritable plethora of farmers’ markets, and I’m trying to seriously consider other options for lowering my footprint in terms of my affecting the environment.

Part of it is being a parent. Part of it is just being smart.

And, again, I’m not the best. I’m not holier-than-thou. I’m just trying.

But thinking about sustainability has me thinking about the philosophy of sustainability.

Reduce, reuse, recycle. Lower your impact on the earth. Reduce your footprint.

And that has me thinking, why don’t we apply this same concept to business processes?

I’m not talking about sustainable business practices. Those are completely necessary, and quite frankly, should already be well underway.

I’m talking about applying that philosophy to the inner workings of the business, itself, as if the business were an ecological entity.

What if we, as employees, tried to lower our footprint on the business processes. Tried to build sustainable processes that would last, not only for our employment, but for the next seven generations of employees holding your position?

What if we reduced our impact to the bare essentials?

What if we looked to other departments to reuse or recycle their processes, rather than creating our own? What if we were to forego the latest and greatest flash-in-the-pan confabulation and, instead, pursue something that might be slightly more expensive yet better for the business in the long-term?

How would we do this? Honestly, I don’t rightly know. I’ve just started pondering it, myself.

But I thought I’d raise the question and see if anyone had some smart answers.

Can you create a sustainable business process?

About Rick Turoczy

More than mildly obsessed with the Portland startup community. Editor at Silicon Florist. Cofounder and general manager at PIE. Follow me on Twitter: @turoczy
This entry was posted in Change, Corporate Culture, Process, Sustainability. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Applying the "Sustainable" philosophy to business processes

  1. Dan McComb says:

    We’re taking a closer look at this in Biznik, and developing a sustainability pledge that our indie business members can optionally elect to take; in return, they’ll get a green “sustainable business” badge to display on their profiles. In fact, we’re having a meeting on the topic hosted by member Brian Allen on Aug. 6th in West Seattle. Here’s the link: http://biznik.com/events/2007/8/6/biznik-sustainability-pledge-discussion

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