A sustainable economy is one in which a certain rate of growth is maintained without creating significant economic problems for future generations. The rapid rate of economic growth experienced today may lead to exhaustion of resources, such as oil and marine products, which will affect future generations. The decrease in resources is indirectly the cause of global warming and other drastic climatic changes. Nowadays, people are increasingly aware of the need for sustainability. Many organisations have set examples regarding how sustainability can be achieved.
Let us analyse how business profit and sustainability can be combined.
Reason behind non-sustainability and the solution!
The fundamental reason is that products that impact the environment negatively are cheaper whereas equivalent harmless materials come at high cost. So it is natural that business owners go for cheaper products. Going for costlier, safe options may not be feasible for them because they may not get enough profit to cover the extra cost. The cost of such materials will remain external from the general accounting of business.
According to sustainability theorists, the solution for this problem lies in quantifying and assigning such external costs, so that they get covered under the business’ overall profit. Let us take the example of a dress shop. If the lowest priced dress material is also the one doing the least harm to the earth, then more customers would go for it. The increased market for it will combine both profit and sustainability which is exactly what the business world needs now.
What can businesspeople do?
Many companies have already started following such practices. A lot of things which were considered priceless are now quantified and prices are calculated. The natural resources were believed to be limitless when they were available in plenty. This mind-set changes when every resource is quantified in terms of money which will help in comparing inputs and outputs in similar terms.
Each and every one of us would be awestruck if the natural resources we use is quantified in terms of money. So, think of the case of business; this step itself would be an eye-opener and would help in limiting the exploitation of resources. The companies who are already on their path to sustainability are well aware of the techniques to be used for the same. Sponsors are also wholeheartedly coming to fund such companies which know how to club business success and business sustainability which is indeed an appreciable move.
The need for quantifying natural resources was recognised in the1990s. But it was from the year 2000 onwards that serious efforts were made in this regard. Non-profit scientific organisations are working on developing efficient methodologies to quantify and evaluate resources.
Business organisations such as Ford, Starbucks, I love diamonds, and so on are also doing their part rightly in the continuous struggle for economic sustainability. They are legends in the diamond jewellery field and their actions are sure to inspire many among the field.
Let us work together!
Each one of us has the responsibility to make our country economically sustainable. Take a little time to learn more about sustainability from resources such as sustainabledevelopment.un.org. Together, let us move forward to create a better future!