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My first article as Vice President for the Association of Caterers and Event Professionals (ACEP)

Sustainably Speaking…
What is Sustainability? Is it the same as green? Eco friendly?

Sustainability is just one word and yet there exists over 300 definitions.
The best-known definition of sustainability is the definition by the World Commission on Environment and Development. This suggests that sustainability is defined as “forms of progress that meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.”

People, Planet, Profit… this is where sustainability comes together. For us in business, we are well aware of the term “Profit” and what it means if there is none. For many years, this was the standard metric for measuring a businesses success. Profit, the bottom line, getting in the black, making money!

However, as we have seen in the current state of the economy, BUSINESS AS USUAL IS BROKEN! Enron should have been a wake up call that trouble was a brewing, but the economic meltdown prior to the election in 2008 left us all in a haze and one thing is for sure, things will never be the same again. I think as a whole, consumers are fed up with banks and big business who don’t give a rip about the community that supports them and folks are looking for more out of their dollar, spending their hard earned cash on things they support, not just need. Accountability is what we are looking for and a whole new metric for accounting is fast becoming the norm, ESPICIALLY here in Portland.
This is where the new metric of including the People, Planet, and Profit in your bottom line will set you apart. And the key is to strike a BALANCE, so Profit is not negatively affected, but actually grows because the community which supports you, knows you care about them too!

Please check out Sustainably Speaking every month to learn more about Sustainability and how to start taking steps now, from where ever you and your business may be.

Mark Lopez
Vice President, ACEP
Owner, Crave Catering
www.cravepdx.com

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