Editorial - Sustainability: an evolving and essential part of business

Nic Crowther
Mon 10 Jul

It seems that sustainability is everywhere we turn.

So many industries are trying to create a magic formula that delivers profitability along with a positive corporate reputation.

Most of us are familiar with the concept of a triple-bottom line – otherwise known as ‘profit-people-planet’ – but how viable is it for your business?



The simple answer is very, and The Shaker is going to spend a week examining all aspects of sustainability and how it can apply to you. From the largest companies in the world to little three-or-four-employee operations, sustainability can be built in from the very start.

Here’s a simple strategy for hitting all three targets: buy a coffee machine for your office and keep it supplied with milk and Free Trade beans.

Let’s do the math:

The average Australian earns around $37.00 per hour. Let’s assume that a business has a staff of 20, with a reasonable expectation of 50% coffee drinkers.

Ordering a coffee from an offsite café can take 10 minutes. That 100 minutes has cost the business approximately $61.00 of lost productivity time.



Sure, the staff are caffeinated and happy, but what if you could halve the time and keep them in-house? Is there a benefit?

The product for a cup of coffee (including the cup) is about $0.40. The 10 staff are costing the business $4.00 for the raw product, and it’s safe to assume that the timeframe is half that of a trip to the café.

And the end result? A $5000 machine ammortiseded over 5 years delivers a saving to the business of around $23 per day or $6000 per year. If the staff are particularly addicted (or you have more employees) the savings can be even better.

Plus, the staff feel valued, the coffee is from a reputable source and there are 50 less cups going to landfill.  

It’s easier than you think, huh? Triple-bottom-line achieved simply through the power of coffee.

Stay tuned this week. We’re all going to learn a lot more about sustainability in business. It's a fast-moving and evolving space.

Nic Crowther
Co-editor, The Shaker