It’s Now or Never: Why Business Must Embrace Sustainability before it is Too Late


How Climate Change and Ecological Damage is Hurting Our Planet

Everywhere we look around us, we see the impacts of our unsustainable lifestyles. Whether it is the Australian Bushfires, the Amazon forest burning, or the unseasonal storms and hurricanes, the effects of climate change and eco unfriendly business and lifestyle practices are taking a toll on our planet.

Indeed, even the recent outbreak of the Coronavirus shows how fragile are our defences are against the effects of unsustainable business and consumerist models.

No wonder that in the West, there is a movement known as the Extinction Rebellion which calls for urgent action on climate change and ecological issues to ensure those future generations have a liveable world.

Of course, there are many who say that it is probably Too Late and hence, it is better to enjoy whatever we have and whatever we are doing.

This seems to be thinking of President Trump who has rolled back much of the environmental safeguards that his predecessor, Barack Obama, put in place to address sustainability issues.

Indeed, this is also the thinking that permeates most world leaders who scoff at the mention of sustainability and climate change.

Anti Science Mindsets, Denialism, and Bridging the Gap between the Two Camps

So, does this mean that we have to resign ourselves to our fates and let the Planet Burn? Moreover, are the average citizenry so helpless when the leaders are behaving irresponsibly that they cannot do much about anything?

And, what is the role of business in this whole debate wherein it continues on its ecologically damaging path with its Business as Usual strategies?

The answer to these questions lays more in terms of mindset and way of thinking, rather than anything.

For instance, climate change activists routinely run into fanatics who deny climate change and who insist that the climate always changes and there is nothing human made about it.

In addition, with the ascent of populists and nationalists worldwide, it has become the norm to attack scientists and science and the anti rationalists ensure that they drown out any voices of sanity with their High Decibel chants.

Therefore, what this shows is that there is a Wall of Denial between the two sides and hence, it is incumbent upon businesses and business leaders to take the lead and Bridge the Gap.

The need for businesses to take steps is high as they are the only ones who can spur some action by talking to both sides and bringing them together.

Business as Usual Would Not Do as We Have Reached the Point of No Return

Business has to also lobby the Powers That Be in all countries and urge them to take action on climate change and eco friendly practices. While this might seem idealistic at first glance, it is very much a practical and sane and rational approach.

This is because it is in the interest of business to act on climate change as its bottom lines can be impacted due to a warming planet and a burning Earth.

Indeed, the stakes could not have been higher as some experts predict that we have reached the Tipping Point and are now at the Point of No Return as far as climate change and ecological damage are concerned.

Therefore, it is either mass survival or mass extinction and hence, from a purely materialistic and profit oriented perspective, it is in the interest of business to take the lead on these issues.

As mentioned earlier, there needs to be a mindset change and the old paradigm of Milton Friedman, who proclaimed that The Responsibility of Business is Business, must be discarded in favour of new thinking. This is the only thing that can save from extinction.

Global Business Must Walk the Talk and Act Before it is too late

Having said that, it is also a fact that global businesses have been notoriously lethargic and tardy as far as their responsibility and commitment to fight climate change and ecological damage are concerned.

Indeed, if one were to go by the words and actions of many business leaders in the recent past, we find that more often than not, they are urging governments to rollback rule and regulations that are environmentally friendly. In other words, they are the ones who are responsible for the damage and they are the ones who are blocking meaningful action on these issues.

At the same time, there is also an element of Hypocrisy here as they talk Big but Act in the Opposite Direction.

So, the need of the hour is for business to Walk the Talk and do something about climate change and ecological destruction. Green Washing or the Spin around Corporate Social Responsibility must be avoided and there must a genuine attempt to embrace sustainability before it is Too Late.

In addition, they must realise that responsibility is good for business as well as the recent research on this topic proves that sustainable business practices pay off over the longer term.

Conclusion

Last, the 21st Century can be thought to be the Transition Century wherein we either move towards a sustainable future or are hurled back into the Dark Ages.

The Millennial generation are those who have the most at stake as it is their future that is up for grabs.

Therefore, it is the case that they take the lead and some action is visible in the form of the Green New Deal in the United States as well as by the Democrats running for election who have promised action on climate change and ecological issues. To conclude, it’s now or never.


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The article is Written By “Prachi Juneja” and Reviewed By Management Study Guide Content Team. MSG Content Team comprises experienced Faculty Member, Professionals and Subject Matter Experts. We are a ISO 2001:2015 Certified Education Provider. To Know more, click on About Us. The use of this material is free for learning and education purpose. Please reference authorship of content used, including link(s) to ManagementStudyGuide.com and the content page url.