Sustainable business practices encourage the organization to consider the effects of all their decisions on people, planet and profit. Generally, companies with formal sustainability plans outperform traditional counterparts. Check out the Dow Jones Sustainability Index.

Sustainable business practices aim to:

Boost efficiency and productivity
Protect the environment
Honor employees and community
Reduce reliance on fossil fuels and other scarce resources
Save money
Reduce risk
Earn customer trust and loyalty
Create market opportunities
Comply with and exceed regulations
Encourage regional economic development
Best practices can be divided into 9 categories used in the Sustainable Business Council’s Strive Towards Sustainability Program. Many of them apply equally to individuals making life choices.

Management
Purchasing
Energy
Transportation
Waste
Facilities
Customers
Employees
Community
Some require little cost and planning, while others are more challenging. Start by making changes where they can be done easily to create early successes. Use the excitement they generate to gradually take on more. Your improving performance will help you seize market opportunities that benefit you, the consumer, and the environment.