What has business ever done for the environment?
“I guess humans like to watch a little destruction. Sand castles, houses of cards, that’s where they begin. Their great skills is their capacity to escalate.”
― Markus Zusak, The Book Thief
That’s hardly tendentious, is it!
But it’s true.
Business has been on the take for as long as I’ve been at work.
Of course, we’re all part of the problem by dint of our consumptive ways.
Imagine, instead, if we had insisted (many years ago) on products that met the Gold Standard for environmental protection. Better still, the company’s sine qua non was restorative of nature — and still made a profit.
But we’d never buy into it. We want things now; we want them cheap; and we’re quite willing to turn a blind eye to the destruction that said business causes to the environment — which over the long term is massive.
I don’t know about you, but I read all this stuff on leadership but I see no mention of what our best-practice leader is doing to put the environment more first than anything else. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the people imperative but that pails into insignificance if the company isn’t embarked on a radical transformation much like Interface did all those years ago.
Right now, just so that I’m not saddled to the same environmental-traducing horse, I’ve started a dialogue at my current company about how we should be upping the ante on our environmental and ethical credentials — they go hand in hand to my mind. I don’t how far I’m going to get but it would be a betrayal of all I believe in if I don’t give it my best shot.
Anyhow, I’d love to know what you think about what more business should be doing to ameliorate its effect on the environment. If there are some shining lights, please do reach out and let me know.