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Sustainable Business – The result of crisis


Sustainable business
exists as the direct result of crisis. Every time we suffer an energy crisis, we stimulate creative solutions. Those solutions don’t always come from within any specific field such as the oil industry, but more often than not those people who are directly affected by the crisis, the people. Sustainable business is just breaking the surface of a fine layer of ice that has frozen over the eyes of those before us, a paradigm. Short term equity is slowly being replaced by the popular belief in long term equity, and with every year that goes by, business strategies tend to recognize their failures from the 1980’s and 1990’s. Capital investment floating around the area of sustainable business is a direct result of the slow and growing acceptance of a market that is not merely profitable, but the very near future.

Thomas Kuhn came up with the idea that paradigms only change in accordance to popular belief in science and method. As would be true in his theory with economy as well, if he is correct. Most people know this and accept it but not everyone is willing to drop their old beliefs for something new and unknown. Ghandi is quoted as saying “All truth passes through three stages: First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.” And as we find our world falling through the Industrial Revolution and flying into a new era of Space Age modern electronics, limited resources will soon be replaced by cleaner, safer and more environmentally friendly products of the Environmental Revolution. Sustainable business is concerned about how we treat our planet, but also how we treat ourselves and our future generations, in a way that will make the “quality of life” we live to only enhance with time.

Quality of life can be determined in the world of capitalism as equity. Equity in sustainable business looks to produce long term profit with ethical strategies that reflect both sustainable as well as capitalist thinking in a kind of balance. Sustainable businesses use their equity as a way of convincing their consumers and stockholders alike that their strategies will bring profit to the business and the community by helping the environment. Most strategies that improve sustainable business equity are those that use rainwater harvesting, solar energy, wind energy, sustainable sewage recycling, as well as sustainable food and/or agricultural production. Not every business is a green business and there are a lot of businesses that simply do not have the means to make the transition over to a sustainable business, which is why investment capital in green businesses is growing all the time.

Capital investment is a way for entrepreneurs with vision to take a hold of the kinds of long term risks that are going to be a wealthy profit for those willing to make their way through today’s paradigms and to the financial breaking point of “zero”/”even” revenue. From the breaking point on, sustainable businesses become a serious threat to the way we do business today, because “time” changes our economical, political and cultural situations. Sustainable business needs come hand in hand with progress, if we become radical and start shutting down all the logging factories in Oregon, we might save the last 4% of our national old growth, but we will affect the stability of those families that make their way of life off of the jobs provided by the logging industry. Investor capitalists make choices about what they invest in based on what those choices “will” do in the long run (as well as at present) and if any of those choices require radical measures by the business at any stage, then the strategic plan is scrapped and new strategies are planned for. Sun Tzu once said, “if war is to be waged, there must be at least 1000 pieces of gold per day of the campaign in the royal treasury, if the campaign stretches on longer than the treasury can pay for, then the campaign will be a failure.” Planning well has been a financial importance for at least 2,500 years since then and sustainable business makes sure that planning well of the ethical choices in a campaign are also taken seriously.

Not merely war but all crisis situations have been responsible for the need to change our ways. If we do things in an unethical and short term profit manner, we may not feel the consequences in our own life times but our children however, or their children, certainly will. Sustainable business searches to break the ice of paradigms that have become obsolete, and crisis situations have helped stimulate that dialogue. But if we are to avoid this kind of dialogue (based on loss), we should then learn to accept sustainable business as a future with as much risk as any other equity currently on the market, the key however is planning. Planning a sustainable business, either through reinvestment (strategic planning of a currently established business that is migrating to green business) or capital investment through a well constructed and carefully planned environmentally friendly business model means making down to earth choices with vision (not optimism). Sustainable business is an ethical future for a cleaner safer and more balanced way of life.




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Posted in Sustainable by admin on May 14, 2006.

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