Environmental sustainability is essential for economy because economy can’t thrive in poor environmental conditions, while unsustainable economy is the enemy of the environment, how do we get out of vicious cycle?
Many regulations and compliances have been adopted nationally and internationally which created the framework for environmental sustainability, encouraging companies to think proactively and step up with more initiatives towards addressing and solving social and environmental problems. In the context of business organization, the impact on sustainability is associated with the effect of being in a business environment, competitive in its nature. Leaders influence decision making, trigger competitiveness through their management strategies, creating perfect environment for innovations and development and contributing to sustainability goals. High rankings and reputation in CSR and environmental management may help to build relationships with stakeholders, attract new clients and corporate partners; as a result, business grows. The industrial companies which are better at disaster planning are also less vulnerable to risks associated with Force Majeure and incurring losses.
Local authorities may foster the progress if they encourage community participation, incentivize organizations participating in environmental activities, reward them for superior Eco performance and social responsibility, such as achievements in lowest carbon production, the highest energy efficiency, the best health and safety standards, regular use of sustainable materials, etc.
The truth is you can’t have your home safe and comfortable while your neighbor’s home is on fire. Focusing on short term results and limiting efforts to a local goal set is misleading and just not enough. Instead leaders should develop system thinking and invest their efforts on a global level, seek for international and interdisciplinary partnerships and cooperation in consolidating these efforts. Sustainable development requires complex research, finding balance across multiple sciences and domains, bringing all stakeholders on one board and making them come to an agreement.
Dealing with complexity is one of the challenges that come across as it feels like embracing the immensity. What’s important is not lose sight of the common goals and stay resilient at every stage of building sustainable future. One Green model cannot fit all. Individuality of socioeconomic conditions and standardization difficulties should be taken into consideration and policies applied with caution. Limited access to finance, practical implementation and adaptation of the policies and their use to consumers, business managers and investors, strict legislation guidelines can be other milestones in the process. This is where global partnerships play a key role. Thinking globally suggests holistic approach to the system problems, looking at the world as a whole.
Environmental and economic systems need to be taken care of and served by humans in such a way that both systems can serve humans.
There is a need for the environment to become authority over economies at this stage. Today consumers are gaining authority over producers, while environment is slowly gaining authority over producers, providing opportunities for the planet to recover from human damage.
There is a need for redesigning the world economy too – the one that should serve 99% of the people’s interests, not just 1%. The concept of Human economy with focus on social and environmental needs implies that human comes first, opposed to self governed, free market economy in capitalist world. Human economy accepts human corrections through governance and policies in such a way so that it can sustain all supporting systems through natural recourses optimization, prioritizing well being and happiness of humanity, and eventually sustains itself in the long term. Traditional market economy relied on heavy industrialization and constant growth, in which merciless abuse of the planet was simply justified by a human idea of “conquering” the nature. We previously needed technologies to accelerate an economy, now we need new technologies to accelerate planet recovery. Moving away from disposable culture and growth oriented economy towards responsible consumption and circular economy that runs within planetary boundaries, diversity and sustainability, liquidating discrimination and minimizing social inequality is the only way to solve global problems of climate change, resource scarcity, rapid growth of population and urbanization and ensure survival.