A few things struck me when I attended a conference last May put on by the Pet Sustainability Coalition.

First, sustainability starts with the literal meaning of the word long before it can attain the lofty heights of its more modern connotation of being a planetary cure-all. If a business can’t sustain itself by bringing in enough revenue to pay its bills, then it’s not going to do any good for its owners, employees or customers, much less for the planet. So, No. 1, make the right business decisions.

Second, and followed close behind that, is the fact that the right business decisions are often those that already are the most sustainable when it comes to both your business and the greater world. But those sustainable-for-the-good-of-the-world decisions are not usually the traditional decisions that business schools, other businesses or consultants might recommend. So, No. 2,  your business needs a certain amount of creative thinking.

Third, it’s really tough to do that sort of creative thinking on your own. It takes the help of others who have been through it — people who have tried, sometimes failed, sometimes succeeded in integrating sustainable practices into their own businesses. So, No. 3, that’s where an organization like the Pet Sustainability Coalition, or an entity like your local power or waste company, or, I hope, our Big Story in this issue comes in.

Senior editor Pamela Mitchell has brought together studies of nine businesses that are making sustainability a priority. While not all retailers, each of the businesses is practicing sustainability in ways businesses of any size and of any means could consider — and, even better, could profit from.

Best thing is, the world as a whole could profit from them as well. 

Sounds like a win-win to me. Read on, and let us know what sustainable practices you’re already employing in your business. This is a topic you’ll be hearing more from us about.

Wishing you the best in business,


Ralf Kircher
Editor-in-Chief, Pets+
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Five Great Tips From This Issue You Can Try Today
  1. Register for beyond-the-pages webinars with Candace D’Agnolo. (Pets+ Online, Page 10)
  2. Lay out your pet’s ensemble for Dress Up Your Pet Day on Jan. 14. (Calendar, Page 12)
  3. Set an alarm 30 minutes before your bedtime to ensure a full night’s sleep. (To-Do List, Page 13)
  4. Order new business cards, no two alike (except, you know, for the phone number and other contact info). (Tip Sheet, Page 36)
  5. Steal an idea from these pages, try it out and let us know about it. Maxwell & Molly’s Closet did. (Best of the Best, Page 49)

This article originally appeared in the January 2018 edition of PETS+. 

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