Sustainability is a bit like the Olympics. There isn’t one sport you play, you have many player that are trying to achieve in multiple lines of sport. It’s a bit like that.
Sustainability isn’t the same as “going green”- Going Green is focused on make the business carbon neutral, environmentally friendly and most importantly reducing even stopping the impact the business has negatively on the environment.
Sustainability goes a step further and seeks to “leave the planet in the same state that it was found”, or as defined – sustainability means meeting our own needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
Now more than ever Sustainability sits at the heart of everything we do, all-be-it, it should have always been this way, Climate change and our degradation of the natural world, has brought Sustainability to the heart of every business (or at-least the ones who care). In their detailed scientific report on the state of climate change in October, the IPCC called for everyone to eat less meat, save energy and car-share, essentially making a global call to live more Sustainable lifestyles. Because if we didn’t and we saw global temperatures rising, natural systems collapsing, we are certainly heading for a dooms-day scenario like no other our species has experienced. This is why it is important. Afterall what can be more important that the survival of us a human species?
It’s a known fact that Business in total account for 71% of global emissions- (Actually 100 Global Companies account for 71% of Global Emissions) but before we even point the finger at those companies, we need to assess our entire economy and global marketplace.
China accounts for the highest volume of emissions from any country, however whether we as consumers care to admit this, everything we own is made in China! So if we want to move the needle on being sustainable Businesses should really be championing local production, local sourcing and customers should be looking to purchase in the same way.
All businesses should be concerned about sustainability. By being a more sustainable society we will allow ourselves to continue to operate as we are. This is the same for business. If businesses don’t pay attention to being more sustainable, they effectively will see the degradation of the environment (social, economical and environmental) which allowed the same business to flourish in the first place.
Can you imagine building an enterprise over numbers of years, only to see it fall to the way-side simply because the environment within which it flourishes no longer can support it? More so consumers, now more than ever care about whether a business they purchase from has a grasp on its environmental impact and how sustainable its operations are. 88% Of Consumers Want You To Help Them Make A Difference, and this is a call to action for businesses (Forbes, 2019).
At the time we are at now its every person’s responsibility to shift the needle on being sustainable. Everyday citizens need to adapt their lifestyles, and similarly businesses should be developing and adapting their products and services to allow for citizens to achieve these sustainable lifestyles. Governments should be directed the much needed funding to adapt our economies, ensure they are powered by clean energy, that there are provisions made within their budgets to help the most marginalised in society adapt to a more sustainable way of living. Regulators need to be more strict, building codes need to change.
In effect every person has a role to play in building OUR sustainable future. Excuses just wont work anymore.