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How Can Companies Help Combat Climate Change?

Last week it was revealed that Chennai, India’s 6th largest city, has almost run out of groundwater. According to the last available census, over 7 million people live in this area. Despite the fact that Chennai has a number of beach resorts and tourist attractions, it seems that their people are suffering. In fact, tourist attractions often have a hand the depletion of local natural resources.

People who run corporations may have a desire to make large amounts of money, but they also have an obligation to treat the world right for its current and future inhabitants. Chennai's case of running out of water, despite the way tourists are catered to, should be cause for reflection among all business owners.

Right now, we're seeing corporate social responsibility (CSR) in regards to sustainability spreading across the world, and that's because corporations are being pressured to recognize their duty to the world around them. This green mindset makes way for something a little bit different, but also effective: conscious capitalism.

Conscious Capitalism

We live in a cutthroat capitalist society. People in this system must thrive on competition in order to keep oneself ahead, often at the expense of others. Mass gentrification and wars over oil are modern examples of this.

Enter the idea of conscious capitalism, which is described by Northeastern University as such:

While conscious capitalism still pursues a profit, it emphasizes doing so in ways that sincerely consider the interests of all principal stakeholders. The philosophy recognizes that some stakeholders, namely the environment, cannot speak for themselves ... More than implementing standalone programs or funding charitable events, conscious capitalism promotes an ongoing, integrated approach to social responsibility, self-awareness, and purposeful decision-making.

Adapting a mindset of conscious capitalism may be the key to business owners looking to succeed and stay environmentally friendly. It may help them appeal to millennials as well. While conscious capitalism can technically mean sacrificing immediate profit, it is worth it for the betterment of the planet. Entrepreneurs must face the reality of the depletion of resources due to climate change.

Adapting Renewable Methods in Business Practices

If you look at the types of materials, energy used, and general waste created by businesses, you will be shocked at how careless mankind can be. That's without mentioning the effect these things often have on aquatic life and other parts of nature. For these reasons, it's time that businesses, in efforts to reduce their carbon footprint, find renewable methods to run their operations.

Energy waste is a pressing issue that harms the environment and reduces the world's natural resources. If companies are able to use alternative energy sources like solar energy, hydropower, and wind power to power their operations, they will reduce their carbon footprint and energy costs in the long run.

Installation costs can be hefty, but there are still smaller measures business owners can take to be more sustainable. Switching to fluorescent light bulbs and smart thermostats are good places to start. Additionally, using recyclable materials in products and working sparingly with things like plastic will help to reduce overall waste as well.

The near future may also see the implementation of self-driving cars in general business operations. Many businesses employ company vehicles for product and service transportation. With these developments, automobile companies have found ways to reduce unnecessary gas costs while offering people safer and efficient ways to get around.The sooner these touch the market, the sooner businesses can start using them at large.

Working With Policymakers

None of the aforementioned efforts will work without stark political and economic change. Changing individual business practices isn't enough when it's still more convenient to abuse resources. For every handful of companies that take up their weapons to fight climate change, there are many more that feel they must rely on the convenience of nonrenewable energy sources and materials to maximize profits.

For this reason, companies and individuals who do have concerns about their environmental impact need to talk to those in government about making changes to the law. Public leaders have ethical responsibilities to the people they serve, but they will often miss things if they aren't being pressured. Businesses have a unique position as powerful economic players in swaying public leaders and policymakers. Using their power to organize meetings between policymakers and environmental activists, they can help policymakers find ways to incentivize other companies to pay attention to their world impact.

Companies who have a more conscious mindset regarding climate change should leverage their position in the economy. Taking advantage of renewable resources to reduce waste and adapt a conscious capitalist mindset can keep them making money while also ensuring that they are helping the world rather than harming it.

Are you a business owner who is concerned about your environmental impact? What have you done to address it? Let us know in the comments below.

Posted by Magnolia at July 11, 2019 6:42 PM
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