Sustainability in Business
Being Plastic Free July I thought it a great time to speak about sustainability in business.
What does It mean to grow a sustainable business in the modern age?
From day one I wanted to build a business that was successful but also had a positive impact on the planet. Inspired by Patagonia Inc and the growing number of brands leading the charge and that help show a path for what is a sustainable business.
Personally I have a deep passion for sustainability. Luckily for me, the agave is a sustainability wonder plant. In the Karoo it grows where nothing else would, and in my opinion helps the planet more than it does harm. So having a whole lot more of it in the Karoo, creating revenue for farmers and jobs for their workers is a win-win. This idea and knowledge is the backbone of why I am committed to making Leonista a success.
What Is Sustainability? Sustainability focuses on meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. The concept of sustainability is composed of three pillars: economic, environmental, and social—also known informally as profits, planet, and people.
Part of our commitment to this ethos is changing to gum tape on our packing. Refill reuse revalue is what we want to see from our bottles. I hope that after you finish with one of our bottles it becomes your new olive oil or chili sauce or water bottle. I've come to understand that being sustainable in packaging is a commitment where you are constantly learning and finding new solutions.
Along with this, just like Patagonia Leonista has committed a percentage of revenue towards non profits trying to preserve what we have left, for us that means conservation in Southern Africa and protecting our beautiful wild spaces and the animals that live there.
If we learnt one thing from covid-19, it's that adaptability intelligence in business is as important if not more than IQ. If Henry Ford had asked his customers what they wanted they would have said a faster horse. Economic sustainability for me means flexibility. Keeping the company expenses lean, keeping the company agile to be able to move fast and adapt to market trends. We were lucky that working online from anywhere was already part of our DNA before covid-19 and I'm happy that we have been able to keep all our staff with no retrenchments. For a small business with constant cash-flow difficulties it's a game of ‘Just in time sales’ and stock replenishment.
We are by no means perfect but we are committed to trying. Please send advice and ideas for us if you have any. We are always learning and always striving to be better.
Some great reads that have given me guidance and inspiration;
Conscious capitalist - WholeFoods - John Mackay
Let my people go surfing - Patagonia - Yvon chouinard
4 hour work week - Tim Ferris