As we drag ourselves out of recession it’s hard not to be preoccupied with the profit margin on the bottom line. While that’s critical to success, we’re probably missing a trick if we don’t look a little bit wider to see how business activities impact in a broader way, not only on ourselves and our customers, but on the community and world in general.

Phrases such as Triple Bottom Line and People Profit Planet are creeping into common use, and many large firms now employ Sustainability Managers,. If we go beyond the greenwash and corporate CSR public relations talk, there are numerous reasons why sustainability should be embedded into your business.

A sustainable business is likely to be a compliant business that’s tuned to needs of the workforce and its responsibilities towards its stakeholders. Most importantly of all, a sustainable business is one that has customers long into the future. That’s why the biggest companies in the world are now looking towards fostering citizenship through investing in communities long term needs rather than just the short term profit potential.

Customers are increasingly looking to engage with local businesses that can deliver more than just their core services by helping them to deliver their own sustainability agenda. This could include promoting local economic regeneration, working with schools, communities and the third sector, or promoting training and apprenticeships.

These added value services play a vital role in helping you to stand out from the crowd. For many clients they used to be nice to have but are now becoming have to have.