I can’t help thinking that the ‘green business’ community, ourselves included, are doing itself and the environment a disservice by focusing only on green and not ensuring that a broader sustainable business model is addressed through our technology and consulting expertise.
There is no doubt that ‘green’ is the new buzz word but the reality is that to some degree, this is a detriment in selling and promoting ‘green’ solutions. The reason why I say this is that ‘green’ is still seen as something different and non-mainstream. As such, getting corporate buy in and an executive to stick his head up above the parapet to support these initiatives is often not an easy task. This narrow minded approach to green needs to be adapted for the green movement and sustainable business to succeed.
Most of us recognise that consumerism and the desire to have and replace everything is pretty much the main reason why we have created the problems we now face. Unfortunately the IT industry is as much to blame as anyone with the technology curve and Moore’s law pronouncing a doubling of processing capacity every two years. These drive a desire to replace, as do the software vendors with new releases every 18 months. So how do we change things?
In the main, I think we need to drive value for both shareholders and the broader community for ‘green’ to succeed. We need to work within the capitalistic constraints within which we find ourselves and use the main levers of this system to drive the green agenda. In short, if we cannot offer shareholder value, it isn’t going to succeed. Concomitantly, if we don’t promote a sustainable business with a sustainable future, we will also fail.
The desire to go ‘green’ needs to be tempered with a solid business model which offers cost reductions or increases market opportunity. In the same breath, the ‘green’ agenda need to facilitate the future of the business around existing and forthcoming legislative frameworks that ensures job security and economic prosperity. This is of fundamental importance. Without solid financial performance which in the broader sense will lead to a stronger economy, the cost of going green will be impossible and unpalatable. The two are inextricably linked.
In reality, I look forward to the day when phrases such as ‘going green’ and ‘green business’ are obsolete and that these are actually the only way that business is done. This dream can only be realised if we ensure that the ‘green agenda’ moves away from where it is currently positioned to more mainstream business and sustainability that is attractive to shareholders.