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The Serious Type: Sustainable Business Project

The Serious Type ( is a US-based online platform and a 501c3 nonprofit with the mission to empower and equip youth to create a happier and healthier world. Their content serves to reflect on sustainability and mental health, and “uplift a mighty generation through self-expression”.

Nikki Beinstein, founder of The Serious Type, has launched a Sustainable Business Project that creates a sustainable partnership between business and education. The objective behind this project is to empower middle/high school students, like you and me, to gauge how sustainable the local businesses around us truly are. In other words, do businesses follow the 3 E’s and 3 P’s?

Profit and Economic sustainability for the business/organization

People and Equity; fair and equal treatment of people

Planet and Environmental sustainability

The role of an adolescent in this project is to provide suggestions for the organization or business owner about how to increase its sustainability. Now, you may be wondering– how would one fairly evaluate the sustainability of an organization, and then go on to provide constructive feedback?

The answer lies in a questionnaire (attached below) created by The Serious Type that takes into account different categories– business health, workers, customers, community, suppliers, and nature. Through a list of 150 questions, one can quantify how sustainable a local business is in terms of profit, people, and the planet; and then go on to represent the findings graphically.

Sample Ratings of Local Business

This makes interaction with a representative of the business easier and more efficient and creates a greater scope of providing suggestions. How cool is that!

Bridging the gap between the education and business sector is a novel idea. As students, we are taught a lot about the importance of sustainability – fulfilling our needs without compromising the ability of the future generations to meet their needs – and how we should always keep in mind the UN Sustainable Development Goals. While a lot of us have this awareness, how much do we really do to translate our knowledge into action? Unfortunately, not enough.

Reaching out to the small businesses in our community, such as a favorite coffee shop or a close-by grocery store, to help them achieve sustainability would without a doubt make an impactful change and actually bring to life what we learn in the classroom. I urge you to collaborate with a few of your friends, identify one local business to assess using the questionnaire, present your findings to them, and help them become more sustainable. Write to me at if you're interested in taking this project forward!

With us students at the forefront of advocating for sustainability, it is explicit that children, teenagers, and young adults have the power to make a concrete change in the world.

TST questionnaire
Download PDF • 140KB

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