With the world’s population and consumer needs expanding day by day, increasing pressure is being put on the earth’s natural resources. Consider this: more than 780 million of the world’s population lack access to clean water and 2.5 billion to sanitation facilities. The average person uses 2.3 hectares of land to supply food and absorb waste, however there is only 1.9 hectares per person available. The math speaks for itself. The future demands us to be ever more conscious about how we manage these scarce resources.
Whether you are a prospective employee, or a consumer, your choices are increasingly influenced by a company’s position on sustainability. People now scrutinise the ‘sustainability small-print’ before deciding who to work with or what brand to buy.
So while sustainability has been on the corporate agenda for some time, in recent years it has moved from the realm of rhetoric to being a key factor in organisational decision making.
Responsible industry people don’t question the importance and environmental sense of regulatory action to curb climate change, especially because it often makes good business sense to adopt processes to ensure their business is sustainable. Europe is leading the way for improvements in climate change regulation, and irrespective of what decisions the rest of the world take, the accompanying financial cost of regulatory compliance in Europe is something all EU based businesses will have to deal with. For example Europe has legally committed itself to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 20% and to use more renewables in its energy mix by 2020. Achieving these targets will impact the competitiveness and profitability of existing businesses with added costs for consumers. Like it or not, being sustainable will come at a cost for business and consumers alike.