How to Implement the 3 Pillars of Sustainability

Incorporating any of the three pillars (environmental, social, economic) of sustainability will have a beneficial impact on your business.

Lenzi Hudson
Posted on
October 17, 2022
volunteers sustainability initiative

When You Think Of Sustainability, What Comes To Mind?

Many people's initial thoughts of sustainability typically refers to supporting the environment. Rarely do people recognize that there are three pillars of sustainability: environmental, economic, & social.




The ability to be maintained at a certain rate or level.

The Environmental Protection Agency states that, "To pursue sustainability is to create and maintain the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony to support present and future generations.".

Green Spaces has a mission of redefining sustainability in business with the intention of hitting all three pillars. Focusing on incorporating each pillar of sustainability creates an endless cycle of benefits. Each pillar feeds off of another.

Here's How You Can Implement All 3 Pillars To Improve Sustainability Within Your Business

green leaves

Environmental Sustainability

The world's current condition of the environment jump started the importance of incorporating sustainability practices in businesses today. Many consumers, and even employees favor companies that show effective stewardship in regards to the resources they’re using and have access to. Beyond the verbal promises, these conscientious consumers look for long term commitments within the business that consistently displays that their actions match the promises that have been made. Other than transitioning into more sustainable practices in regards to physical products, businesses should focus on sustaining a well-balanced and healthy work environment within the workspace. Building an environment that people want to be a part of strengthens a community in the long run. "Publicly championing your environmental efforts can improve branding and gain you more loyal and satisfied customers. People want to feel like they're buying decisions that are helping the planet, not hurting it." (

small business owner

Economic Sustainability

Economic sustainability focuses on the long-term growth of the economy while avoiding to negatively affect the other two pillars of sustainability. This "includes job creation, profitability, and proper accounting of ecosystem services for optimal cost-benefit analyses." (Treehugger). A way to boost the economy in your business is through creation of job opportunities. Job creation boosts the economy by GDP (gross domestic product). The income employees receive is then recycled back into the economy. "Out of every $100 spent with a local business $68 stays in your local economy; keeping money inside the community ultimately helps local schools and other organizations through taxes as well." (Forbes). Touching again on the development of a healthy business environment, "by improving your workplace environment, you will reduce employee turnover, save money, and benefit from increased productivity, engagement, and innovation." ( Investing in your employees health and happiness will likely increase their work ethic and efforts which will result in economic gains for the business as well.

“Out of every $100 spent with a local business $68 stays in your local economy; keeping money inside the community ultimately helps local schools and other organizations through taxes as well.”

— Forbes

community members gathering

Social Sustainability

Local communities typically get overlooked as a resource that should be preserved and built up. You'd be surprised of the talent you could find that resonates within your business/workspace, your closest group of friends, and everyone in between who makes up the neighborhood or association you're a part of. A business feeds on the success of the community it can create and be a part of. Collaboration is key! Connecting and creating with the businesses in your stomping ground is a way of practicing sustainability.


  • Produces cross-brand awareness
  • Saves money
  • Expands network
  • Shares knowledge & intellectual properties

Successful entrepreneurs and business owners have a strong network. Businesses can implement networking opportunities into their space by hosting events, both business and/or not business related, such as happy hours. Offering skill oriented classes after work hours is another way for your business to collaborate, pour knowledge into the community, and provide a space to build connections.

The Takeaway

We say, incorporating any of these three pillars of sustainability will have a beneficial impact on your business. Regardless of the type of business you have, implementing another pillar of sustainability will produce positive change in your workspace, network and community. Make the change you'd like to see; it starts with you!

*Share* this article with your entrepreneurial friends and the business owner in your local community!

Lenzi writes blog articles for Green Spaces