The first time I heard the phrase “triple-bottom line” (around 1994) I was hooked! And it’s driven my thinking ever since. Let's begin with an introduction to this notion.
What it Means
Triple bottom line is a business concept that proposes firms should commit to optimizing their social and environmental impact, in addition to their financial performance, rather than adopting a total obsession on the financial bottom line at the expense of everything else. This notion is beautifully captured in the "triple-bottom line" phrase “People, Planet and Profit."
In the past, many companies' key business decisions ended with the objective of maximizing profits while reducing costs and mitigating risks. Today, however, there are a burgeoning group of purpose-driven leaders who have discovered that they have the power to use their business to affect positive change in the world without hampering profits.
Why? Two primary reasons:
1. Attracting talented employees and becoming preferred by customers. Many talented employees dream about working for organizations with a mission bigger than themselves (which means you win on talent and innovation). And many of today’s consumers will switch to purpose-driven brands when presented with the opportunity.
2. Finally, speaking about triple-bottom line future opportunities, there is incredible business to be done solving some of the world’s most difficult "planet-based problems" with a bevy of new innovations, products and services. Chunka Mui has a new book entitled “A Brief History of a Perfect Future," where he eloquently details the incredible opportunity we have to proactively make a positive and optimistic view of our future a reality.
Why it Matters
Giving opens many doors. Doing good is good for consumers, as well as businesses. Social value has become a critical part of business strategy, demonstrating the importance of supporting people, planet and profit sharing. Businesses that give back show their values upfront, offering a quick glimpse into their value system.
People pay attention to those who give, and they're more likely to engage or give back to you or to follow suit and give back to others. By giving, you are letting the world know that you care and that you are sharing your wealth and blessings with others.
This is crucial to growth and success. Sharing and giving back to the community that is supporting you is the greatest reward any business owner or leader can receive.
And we all know that consumers value trust, which is why they seek out the opinions of their peers and consult reputable websites like Tripadvisor.com and Yelp.com. We want the brands we buy to reflect who we are as people. This makes our purchases very much an extension of our self-image and personal identity.
According to one survey, small businesses donate 250% more than larger businesses to local non-profits and community causes, and a staggering 75% of small business owners donate an average of 6% of their profits to charitable organizations annually. Cambio Roasters donates 20% of its profits to coffee-farming families through their partnership with Food4Farmers, exhibiting how important the notion of caring capitalism is to them.
Businesses that give back have a huge selling point to offer customers. More than ever, people are looking to support local small businesses that share their values, so they know their money is benefiting their community. Eighty-five percent of consumers have a more positive image of a company who gives to charity, and 90% of consumers want to know how companies are supporting charitable causes.
Reflecting on the last couple of decades, it's great to see the significant, observable shift away from emphasizing profit over purpose. It’s also great to be right in the fray. The challenge of building businesses that can win in the brutal competition of the national stage while simultaneously positively affecting people and planet dreams is very meaningful.
At Cambio Roasters, we wear our triple-bottom-line heart on our sleeves every day, as well as on the front of every package. But, it’s also always important (and fun) to add a little zip to your altruistic dreams.In the end though, it’s not about us (businesses), it’s about consumers. And they make their decisions based on how your company is perceived, which is directly correlated with their behaviors. Businesses that continue to move in the direction of caring about their employees, the environment and sharing their profits are going to be the most successful, in today's new world.
Cambio Roasters offers recyclable K-Cups® in eight different blends through our website, on Amazon and in Harris Teeter stores. We donate 20% of our profits to Food4Farmers, helping to create a better life for coffee-farming families. Our coffee is sourced from coffee farms around the world and roasted by our 5th Generation Roast Master. Our K-Cups® are packed in a solar-powered facility and are the easiest K-Cups® to recycle.