“Green is an attitude that directs behavior toward activities that benefit mankind and keep ecosystems intact.”
Few corporate decisions are made solely because they make the decision makers “feel so good inside”. The “Bottom Line” is still the ultimate arbiter of the success of any business enterprise. Ideally, the combination of the two motivations produces favorable sustainable outcomes that benefit the consumer, the business and at worst are environmentally neutral.
The value of looking at the relationship between what we do and how it affects society as well as the natural environment will be propelled forward by the realization that there are as many economic opportunities as pitfalls. There will undoubtedly be winners and losers. The potential losers will warn of the harmful outcomes, mostly economic and mostly related to the fact that their business plans depend on maintaining the status quo. For the most part that thinking is the result of being self-satisfied, and not progressive in their thinking nor proactive in their planning or in two words – lazy and fearful. Creating an environmentally sustainable business activity that benefits the community it serves at large and is profitable, will depend for its success on the creation of an economic environment that supports those entrepreneurs who see opportunity in the changing mindset of the worlds consumers.
The increasing appearance of the word “green” to describe products and policies is evidence that some businesses are walking up to that fact. The word will, undoubtedly, be used to excess and become less meaningful as it is exploited as a marketing device and made to describe ridiculous associations but at least it is indicative of the rise of awareness by businesses that public support for green initiatives is on the rise and that a demand for a similar awareness by those who produce the products and proved the services will be expected.
Coming up with good answers starts with coming up with good questions – Here are some starters:
- What should be the governments involvement in promoting an economic environment supportive for Green initiatives by business?
- What kind of incentives should be offered?
- Should the government be actively involved in the development of green initiatives using taxpayer money? Would it conflict with Private sector enterprise?
- Are their models in other countries that could be used in the US?
What should be done about the excessive and unsustainable business models that wield undue influence over legislation in Congress and restrict the development of sustainable and health environmentally and economic solutions. People, much less corporations, do not give up power willingly. A structure has been put in place by government servants who forget who they were in service to, that resulted in the high-jacking of the system by businesses whose corporate identity seemed to placed them outside the system of which they were a part and whose minds do not rebel against but actively and sometimes outwardly support exploitation of natural resources or social disadvantage as a means toward higher profits.
I’m thinking of the Primary bottled water distributors here, such a Suez and some of the other soda bottling giants, who have no problem going into a country, buying water rights for a pittance, drilling wells below the level of local wells, draining the water, selling back to the people of the community at exorbitant prices, then packing up and leaving the local communities with dry wells and no other solution then to continue to buy water in a most ridiculous way imaginable – five gallon plastic bottles delivered by a diesel burning vehicle house by house. I’m not sure I have enough imagination to even think up a more idiotic solution to providing water to people. OK, OK – I’m getting worked up. Oooooooooommmmmm, Ooooooooommmmm, OK, I’m good. The fact is that there are companies with great environmentally sustainable solutions. One such product is the Berkey Water Filter which I use in Mexico and promote widely, a low-tech, low-cost, highly efficient solution that provides high value and is readily available.
Well, I hope at least some of the above will stimulate some thinking about the issues, I know it has for me.