'A Business That Makes Nothing but Money Is a Poor Business' - Henry Ford

13/07/2016 11:02 | Updated 13 July 2016

Henry Ford never said anything more impactful to business than this famous quote and I believe his business mindset continues to ring true to this day - being responsible in business is not just the right thing to do, but the best thing to do.

Socially responsible businesses can be incredibly successful and profitable because people want to buy from, work and partner with them - and this is why 'people, planet and profit' are often referred to as 'The Triple Bottom Line'. So why is this?

  • As a business, your responsibility begins with your people. After all, a trained, engaged and motivated team will help grow your business from the ground up with less absence, lower turnover and more productivity and so looking after your people is fundamental. We've pledged a 10% operative recruitment commitment, focused on employing people from marginalised groups, who would otherwise face barriers finding work.

  • When it comes to the planet, it's critical that businesses across all sectors address the three long-term megatrends forecast to affect our future: rising population, resource scarcity and volatility and climate change impact. If these are tackled, communities and the businesses within them can flourish without exhausting raw materials and by lowering carbon emissions we protect our environment.

  • And finally profit. A report from Imperial College London 'The Circular Revolution' investigated the benefits of the circular economy and its findings revealed a potential £29 billion contribution to UK GDP and in excess of 175,000 jobs - which makes a powerful business argument and means the circular economy is a highly effective business tool for growth.

The same Imperial College London report 'The Circular Revolution' highlighted: "the focus [of the circular economy] is no longer just environmental, it's all about the bottom line" and so being a responsible business, and implementing the circular economy, has the potential to help businesses grow.

At Veolia we have gone through a transformational change to address the challenges of the future and have adapted our business model in order to contribute to the circular economy through closed loop solutions. Strategically it's important that being a responsible business becomes business as usual. This is why we've embedded our sustainability objectives into each person's individual objectives and bonuses, meaning our business success is measured by the added financial, social and environmental value we generate.

Whatever business you're in, if you seriously want to become a better and more responsible business, as well as positively influencing your bottom line, you should look towards The Triple Bottom Line today.

Veolia is honoured to have won this year's Business in the Community "Responsible Business of the Year" award for its 'Resourcing the World' campaign and would like to congratulate everyone involved.