How to increase profits and ensure sustainability

Honestly.

Is it possible to make money while also ensuring sustainable operations?

People - Planet - Profit

How to increase profits and ensure sustainability.

Honestly. Is it possible to make money while also ensuring sustainable operations? According to the owner and CEO of Amesto, Arild Spandow, the answer is yes. But you cannot generate commitment to sustainability by measuring profit alone.

According to Arild Spandow, CEO of the technology company Amesto, profitability and sustainability should not be viewed as two separate variables but rather as two sides of the same coin. Amesto has chosen to redirect a previously biased focus on profit to an increased focus on people and planet through what is known as a Triple Bottom Line.

“The Triple Bottom Line is a model based on measuring businesses not only from a financial perspective but also in terms of including people and the planet. We cannot expect authorities to solve everything for us, we all share a responsibility to contribute and find our fair place in the ecosystem,” an engaged Arild explains.

Ariane Spandow, Head of CSV at Amesto, agrees. She works on social value creation in the company and is extremely passionate about the topic.

“For years now, we have warmly spoken about sustainability but, when it came down to it, we only measured on EBITDA.  We realised we had to do something about this if we wanted change. Not only in terms of mindset but also in terms of practice. This became the foundation for the new model by which we now measure the businesses,” she explains.

Our managers therefor deliver on parameters through the Triple Bottom Line: People, the Planet and Profit. To exemplify, if financial results are met, but the objectives for People and Planet fall below the minimum requirements, the results have not been fully obtained.

Arild Spandow

"Our ambition is for the changes to initiate a chain reaction in which every level across the entire organisation is challenged to work on the three Ps; People, the Planet and Profit. We cannot sit back and wait for the challenges to solve themselves."

A profitable change in focus

Profitability is not only about positive financial results but is relevant across the entire organisation in the form of innovation, value creation, commitment, and attractiveness. In order to be an attractive employer, attractive partner or attractive participant in society, businesses must assume an active role and highlight key areas.

But why is it that many business leaders are reluctant to think about social value?

“One of the challenges associated with social value creation can be that a business’s corporate social responsibility is often perceived as pure costs. But value creation is as much about new business opportunities that could improve profitability and strengthen your competitive position,” Ariane explains.

Both Arild and Ariane are confident that the employees of the future have different requirements. The next generation is interested in a deeper meaning: they are more driven by purpose than previous generations. There is also no doubt that stricter requirements will be imposed, from the EU and globally. If you do not consider anything other than profit, you will also end up at the back of the profitability queue.

“But innovation costs. It is as simple as that,” says Arild. Motivation is a fundamental factor in being able to succeed in generating profitability in the work on sustainability, because such initiatives do not immediately boost profit.

How can you increase profits through sustainable efforts?

In order to succeed at sustainability, you need to adopt a long-term mindset and work purposefully and strategically on all aspects of the organisation. Business owners and directors need to understand that such a change will cost both time and money, but they also need to be able to see the value of the work. The effect will be evident.

“Involve, engage and challenge your employees,” Ariane urges. “Allow sustainability to become part of your target map and place less emphasis on financial targets when measuring results. If you measure by EBITDA alone, your motivation will be lost.”

Do you make good choices?

At Amesto, we have introduced the Triple Bottom Line across all companies, and we have linked the objectives with our core activities. This mindset permeates all decisions and scenarios we face. During sales meetings, sales representatives must assess the effect of the three Ps: People, Planet and Profit, project managers must assess our carbon footprint in terms of the environment, while HR employees must safeguard and promote commitment.

“The work employees do must have meaning, not only for them, but for the company we are building and the society we operate within,” says Arild. Our employees should be proud to say that they work for Amesto and, if their work is meaningful, we believe it will strengthen our reputation, build a strong employer brand and uncover new business opportunities,” he continues.

For others who are considering introducing such measures, Arild concludes with a rhetorical question: Have you made good choices today? If the answer is no, now might be the time to put this on the agenda.

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