??Sustainable development??

Everyone is talking about the environment and pollution, and everyone is thinking about sustainable development, but the question is it really relavent to the business?
When you are going to establish a new company, there are shortages for financial resources, human resources, and the other company resources. Do company’s shareholders still need to consider about sustainable development?
Which is more important compare to Profit and environmental?
Is it necessary to look at long term strategy reather than short term?
If the company don’t have enough people to pay for their emoplyees, do they still need to think about to invest new technology to save the enironment?
What is the first thing company should do?
A. Gather the money
B. Look after the environment (without financial support)
C. Look after the business and environment (with high cost and risk)
D. Gather the money, then look after the environment

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Posted in climate sceptics, corporate sustainability
7 comments on “??Sustainable development??
  1. cein says:

    Obviously it is important to make profit. Profit is very hard to keep making if you have no resources with which to make your product. I am nearly as keen on making money as you are but according to Al Gore we will be dead in no time so we wont be able to enjoy whatever profits are made! For me it is important to considre both parts even though it is probably harder to think about the environment when there is money to be made..

  2. Barry says:

    Sherry, with my banking background, and in terms of the broader financial markets perspective, many of the world leading banks have signed to the ‘equator principles’. If your start up project is not in keeping with sound social and environmental practices, you will struggle to get funding (refer below link). You can’t rape the planet and expect us all to be complicit – that time has passed…. why don’t you look at Martin’s comment from Canada – he is headed in the right direction as there will be many more millionaires created on the back of the Sustainable Development in the context of climate change than under the old paradigm.
    Barry
    http://www.equator-principles.com/principles.shtml

  3. Eric Rhéaume says:

    Sherry, I thought I was done for the night but after reading your blog, I had to answer. Once again, strong words coming from a strong girl. Profit is definitely what runs the business world but is it worth doing it at the planet expense?? There is an answer and it’s NO. Of course Sustainable development is relevant to business. Where have you been this week?? I’m with Cein saying that it’s both. So to answer your final question, again there is a good answer and it’s B or C and we should look into eliminating D. A good practical example is the CIE Interface we talked about today. They are on their way to reducing to a 0 footprint but still are making a lot of money. If I follow your logic Sherry, even if the planet dies by 2050, as long as we make profit, we did our job. Sorry if I was harsh but I don’t agree as you saw above. No hard feelings. Just trying to keep this blog going… Cheers!!

  4. Angelina says:

    On the same side with the boys, I must say that even step 1 “Gather the money” in your prescription on running the business will not be completed without the thourough, sustainable and long term oriented business plan. The times of ‘hit and run’ type of business operations are long gone, and only businesmen with clear long-term vision of growing their business and concern for ALL implications, both positive and negative, do make profits. In your spare time, read annual financial reports of largest and most successful companies to see how much attention is given to environmental problems and long term sustainable development. Additionally, speaking in precise terms of corporate finance, Expectancy Theory (claiming that the Market Value=Fundamental Value+Expectant Value) provides a mathematical and market-data based proof that in today’s financial world the expected value of the company, represented exactly by the corporate environmental and social policies, is part of the total market value.

  5. jeremy says:

    With the greatest of respect to my Irish, Aussie, Canadian and Russo-Canadian friends, let’s not be too ethnocentric here. Sherry’s blog is addressing a very real issue in the Chinese context. The phenomenon she is referring to is frequently referred to as the Environmental Kuznets Curve. Go and read about this and tell me what you think 🙂

  6. craig says:

    Many years ago now I was debating the issues of population pressure on our wee little planet with a good friend. After a few beers and many pointless words he offered a solution. “Eliminate modern medicine“. This of course was an interesting statement coming from someone who was just about to finish medicine. Never the less what it highlights is that the one of the big culperits to our problems is that people live too long and survive illness way too much. If we didn`t have the industrial revolution with all it`s knowledge accumulation, modern medicine, hygiene, and ability to produce good more efficiently then we would mostly all die young if we lived at all.
    It`s basically our selfish natures that drive us towards the need for `more`of everything. Greed caused the industrial revolution
    My question really is. Are we selfish being, and if yes how can we save ourselves when it so hard for use to be selfless.

  7. Leslie says:

    After reading Sherry’s blog, I have a real question…
    She is saying that before investing money on SD, a company first has to make money and profit. I understand it! And Kuznets Curve proves that first we have to invest on indispensable capital!
    BUT… The environmental problem is so important that :
    – consumers are going to become more and more preoccupied by this topic (and they are going to wait for a company to be involved on the subject)
    – The objectives of the Kyoto Protocole have to be respected and so everybodu has to act (even the new companies)
    If they don’t invest on SD now, I wonder if Chinese companies are not going to suffer from an important retardation since today every company invest on SD!
    My question is : Don’t we have to re-think our vision of business and consider that it is as important to invest on environment as on MM and N capital? Becasue if we don’t do that, as said by Al Gore, we won’t have any place to invest!
    And Sherry, is not saving the Planet the better profit we can make?

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