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The (Triple) Bottom Line: Good Business for the Common Good

More and more businesses are rethinking what it means to be profitable.  Thankfully, business people all over the world are waking up to the importance of considering not only how our business practices impact our bank accounts, but also how they impact our workers, our communities, and our environment.  Anyone who is half awake did not need Greg Smith to tell them that big business in the Modern Era seems to have largely devolved into being a sociopathic enterprise where people and places are treated as expendable cogs in impersonal money-making machines which drain our finite, dwindling, devastated natural resources, and which steamroll the needs of the many in order to supply the insatiable wants of a few.  That’s a pretty bleak picture.  But there are glimmers of hope everywhere if you know where to look.

Forming businesses that have a social and environmental conscience, that profit their communities as well as themselves, and that do business humanely will be an important part of recovering our humanity, not just in the marketplace, but in all aspects of life.  And, thankfully, quite a few businesses and business schools are catching the vision.  Here is a great interview from WUNC’s show “The State of Things,” with the leader of one such business, Kevin Trapani.  It is well worth the listen.

For my part, I think that considering a “triple bottom line,” considering the impacts of one’s business practices on the human family and the environment, as well as on profitability is a vital part of the vocation of any Christian operating in the world of business.  What are your thoughts?



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NCSU Graduate Christian Fellowship

Hi! I'm David, the campus minister for InterVarsity's graduate and faculty ministries at NC State and Meredith College. I hope you'll join me as I learn to "practice resurrection" in the City of Oaks, in her universities, and in the wider world. You can contact me at dmwilliams83@gmail.com

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