When profit is a dirty word

I meet lots of business people and I’m always surprised at how many seem to be embarrassed about making a profit. These same people are often very aware of running their businesses conscientiously to ensure activities such as recycling and reducing their carbon footprint are in place. What they don’t seem to understand that these two sides of business are co-dependent.

Big businesses talk about Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and do ‘good things’ in their local community, with much banner waving and feel good factor, raising both the company profile and the morale of the staff.

Small businesses (SMEs) often have the same vision, on a much smaller stage – but don’t have the same resources as the bigger organisations. That doesn’t mean they can’t operate their business in a socially responsible way – but it does mean that making a profit is important.

There are three steps to being able to save the planet:

Profit – you can’t allocate resources until you make a profit

People – you need people to carry out the actions required, and they need to be paid for what they do for your organisation


o being able to purchase low carbon products
o upgrade old equipment that’s no longer environmentally friendly,
o take the time to set up recycling projects,
o invest in research and development to ensure anything you produce is either recycled or recyclable.

So making a profit helps to save the planet – and that makes it a very clean word indeed!