"Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing" - Oscar Wilde
Business and the environment are tightly bound. Many businesses in the world thrive on a principle of unchecked growth and profit, but natural resources are finite: they cannot cope with unchecked growth. Neither can the balance of natural systems cope with an increasingly industrialised world.
We cannot become sustainable until we evolve the way we do business. A business evolution is also a consumer evolution. We as consumers are part of the problem. How we consume affects the planet profoundly.
What would a business evolution look like?
Would we still use capitalism as our business model for the future planet, in the hope that it will solve some of the problems it has created? And if not capitalism, what model would we use?
As businesses, would we hold on to the idea of growth, or would we design a new goal? Is growth (even sustainable growth) necessary?
As consumers, would we buy less, or buy the same amount in a more ethical way? Would a real business evolution require consumers to radically rethink their lifestyles, or would subtle changes be enough?
A change is coming in the business world, and we can all play a part in directing it.
Business positive actions
In line with Our Future Planet's wish to approach the future dynamically and positively, we believe that all people, as employees, employers, consumers and leaders, hold the power. We can choose and create better business by thinking about who we work for and with, who we buy from and what we buy. By changing our own behaviour, we can change how businesses behave too.
TEEB report: corporations out of step with consumers on biodiversity loss
Forum for the Future specialist reports:
e Sombra Sol - Brazil’s search for a sustainable future
Ubuntu! South Africa’s search for a sustainable future
Viva lavida verde - Mexico’s search for a sustainable future
Monsoons & miracles - India’s search for a sustainable future
Enhance - Business Planning for Nonprofits: Why, When and How It Compares to Strategic Planning
Social Enterprise Coalition: No More Business as Usual: A Social Enterprise Manifesto
CSI Report: New CSI Research Cluster Volunteering revisited
Welsh Assembly Government: Social Enterprise Strategy for Wales 2005
Welsh Assembly Government: The Social Enterprise Action Plan for Wales 2009
NACC: Curricular Guidelines for Undergraduate Study in Nonprofit Leadership, the Nonprofit Sector and Philanthropy