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The Triple Bottom Line Goal of Sustainable Businesses

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This story appears in the March 2013 issue of Start Up.

Ask 10 people to describe a sustainable business, and you'll get a variety of answers. A banker or shareholder would call it an established business with regular, uninterrupted profits. A college student may point to a company's commitment to zero out its environmental impact. According to Karen Martinsen Fleming, director of Green Mountain College's sustainable business MBA program in Vermont, both are correct. She would also add "people" to the definition to create what's known as running a business with a triple bottom line (TBL).

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