Debunking the myths first
Okay, so some of the mantras which have been formulated around greener living, in all areas of our lives and not just in business, are not myths and all and are true. However, many of these are taken out of context or they’re applied in all contexts, some of which contexts render them completely useless or having the exact opposite effect of what was intended of them. For example, we’re preached the gospel of going paperless perhaps always making for a better option as far as something like communication. It’s better for the environment to send an email than to have a tree chopped down so that you can send a snail mail letter, is it not?
When we measure the amount of power which goes into the operation of an email server and the IT infrastructure that comes together to deliver your email, the impact on the environment is greater than that of having a snail mail letter sent! Now, does that mean we should go back to paper?
Not at all. All it really means is that we need to take a different view on what environmental friendliness really is and strive for a net effect instead of just doing things that appear to be having us go greener.
So there are three areas we need to look at if we’re to achieve that:
- The value of businesses sticking to their natural size
It happens more in the realms of those businesses which harbour ambitions of infinite growth and expansion, such as those which go on to list on the stock exchange, where it’s profits first and everything else afterwards. This is bad for the environment in that resources are consumed relentlessly in pursuit of growth prospects, some of which never even fully materialise. These types of business are of the idea that they can throw money at the problems later on, once they have piles and piles of it, whereas it’s better for every business to be satisfied with its natural size.
Fat chance of that happening, because greed has become synonymous with the profits thought to be only obtainable through endless growth and expansion.
- The relationship between specialisation and environmental-friendliness
This builds on from the previous section of businesses sticking to their natural size, with a bit more of a practical application. If everybody knows to source a certain selection of products from a certain specialist supplier, such as how Grasscity United Kingdom has it all by way of smoking accessories, there is less of a burden on the resources which are used to create the business channels around that vendor. We don’t need one million logistics companies delivering what is essentially the same product from different suppliers if only one supplier has the full complement of those products in the range they offer, for instance.
- The consumer’s responsibility
Lastly, customers should jump on board too and question the business practices of the vendors whose businesses they patronise. If you’re serious about going greener then you need to speak through your buying decisions.