Chris McCann's Personal Blog

Life's too short to not do awesome things

Why Should I Care About Sustainability?

with 10 comments

I was challenged this week with the question… if I was a skeptic of the environmental movement, why should I care about sustainability and why should businesses care?

Here is why I think why:

The last 100 years of human existence under the current industrial revolution have brought some of the greatest benefits to our species: increase in life expectancy,

Life Expectancy Over History

Life Expectancy Over History

increases in leisure time, increase in prosperity, instant global communication, and much more. While impossible to deny the great benefits of the current economic paradigm we are living under the benefits have been gained at an extreme cost to our environment.

Here are just a few facts and statistics on the environmental/social damage we have caused:

Some would say that sustainability is just the new “fad” since sustainability has gaining popularity in recent years, but creating a new economic model that preserves our single planet, including the limited amount of resources on it, for our future generations is much more than just a “fad”.

Think about this if you had these 2 options of economic models to choose from and aspire to:

  1. A model that uses un-renewable resources which are finite, creates more waste than product, and destroys our habitat to the point where animals and humans can’t survive in it.
  2. A model that uses the energy income of our planet, creates no waste byproduct (all waste is used in another system), and maintains our habitat for animals and humans to flourish indefinitely.

Which would you choose? And why shouldn’t we as a society aspire to create that kind of model?

The environmental/social/economic problems our world faces are complex, highly interconnected, global in scale and these problems affect every single person, business, organization and government in the world. For these reasons people from all backgrounds, industries, and cultures need to care about these problems if we want to truly create a sustainable framework for humans to live in and not just “pass the blame” to someone else.

And why should business’s care?

A great example on how business can help solve these issues comes from the book “Mid-Course Correction” which profiles the Interface carpet company in their adventure on becoming ecologically neutral midway during their business’s life. The book shows with examples why being ecologically conscious is good for the bottom line because using less raw materials lower costs, creating less waste saves money, recycling materials reduces raw material costs further, sustainability attracts more customers increasing profits, and sustainable practices boost the morale of employees increasing productivity and lowering employee turnover.

While the problems of the world are immense and numerous I like to view them as opportunities waiting to be solved by the entrepreneurs of the world…

I’ll end with a great short video about our environmental impact and the tipping point we are nearing:

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10 Responses

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  1. […] Entrepreneurial Activism put an intriguing blog post on Why Should I Care About Sustainability?Here’s a quick excerptI was challenged this week with the question… if I was a skeptic of the environmental movement, why should I care about sustainability and why should business’s care? Here is why I think why: The last 100 years of human existence under the current industrial revolution have brought some of the greatest benefits to our species: increase in life expectancy, Life Expectancy Over History increases in leisure time , increase in prosperity, instant global communication , and much more […]

  2. […] New Brunswick Life placed an observative post today on Why Should I Care About Sustainability?Here’s a quick excerpt…gained at an extreme cost to our environment. … A great example on how business can help solve … less waste saves money, recycling… […]

  3. […] Chris McCann put an intriguing blog post on Why Should I Care About Sustainability? « Entrepreneurial ActivismHere’s a quick excerptA model that uses un-renewable resources which are finite, creates more waste than product, and destroys our habitat to the point where animals and humans can’t survive in it. … The book shows with examples why being ecologically conscious is good for the bottom line because using less raw materials lower costs, creating less waste saves money, recycling materials reduces raw material costs further, sustainability attracts more customers increasing profits, … […]

  4. […] Skindalous added an interesting post on Why Should I Care About Sustainability?Here’s a small excerptThink about this if you had these 2 options of economic models to choose from and aspire to: A model that uses un-renewable resources which are… […]

  5. I had a fascinating conversation with a physicist a few years ago who discussed this very idea of a biphasic earth. He was a bit more pessimistic; he thinks we’ve already tipped the scales too far. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that he’s wrong.

    Samson

    April 20, 2009 at 11:42 pm

  6. […] by Samson I have thought about posting here for months, but I was finally motivated to do it by this post from Chris McCann. A few weeks back we had coffee and a lively conversation about the subject of […]

    A « Recruitmentology

    April 21, 2009 at 12:41 am

  7. […] by Samson I have thought about posting here for months, but I was finally motivated to do it by this post from Chris McCann. A few weeks back we had coffee and a lively conversation about the subject of […]

    Now « Recruitmentology

    April 21, 2009 at 1:49 am

  8. Hi I found your site when i was searching Yahoo for sites related to this content. I must say, I like your site. I like the layout too, its pleasing. I don’t have much time at the moment to fully read your website but I have noted it and I also signed up for your RSS feed. I will be back in a day or two. Thanks for an useful site.

    Bryant

    December 20, 2009 at 7:45 pm

  9. […] have thought about posting here for months, but I was finally motivated to do it by this post from Chris McCann. A few weeks back we had coffee and a lively conversation about the subject of […]

    Origami « think (feel) be

    February 14, 2011 at 6:40 am


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