Sustainability is often treated as synonymous with “environmentalism”. Protecting the environment and our climate is one of the big challenges we are facing right now, but it is not the only one. Bizplan.one looks at social sustainability, which means that we define sustainability as the ability to support both current and future people’s ability to maintain a healthy community. In order to that, we need to ensure we take care of our environment – both locally and globally. We also need to strengthen and safeguard our human rights, including the right of freedom of expression, and the ability to participate in politics irrespective of who you are or where you are coming from. In light of that view on sustainability, here are 5 big challenges that businesses must contribute to solving:
- Reduce our dependence on fossil fuels (in order to not destroy the planet)
- Ensure people are not marginalized (in order to remove the driving force for terrorism)
- Protect the integrity of everyone in a hyper-connected society (don’t let people be spied on, whether by governments, Facebook or criminals)
- Don’t waste resources (let everybody have enough to eat, and don’t create mountains of garbage due to poor resource management)
- Don’t waste talent – let people contribute when they can and want (remove hierarchies, meaningless politics and rules and allow creativity to flourish)
These 5 challenges can take many forms – businesses can contribute locally or globally, on a small-scale and on a big scale. Just don’t avoid improving the world because you think someone else will do it. That type of thinking is one of the most dangerous trends that can occur. Let’s instead tackle the 5 big challenges with the means and positions we have – a small action is always better than all the talk in the world.
I’ll end this with a Tweet from the CEO of Unilever Paul Polman – a company that has made sustainability its core business. Businesses pulling the load to bring sustainability to forefront can shape not only our day-to-day lives, but also force politicians to take real action and not evade our real challenges.
— Paul Polman (@PaulPolman) June 19, 2017