Climate change is an important factor in recent times which has been talked about in business and non-business environments. Every degree rise in temperature is going to have a long-lasting impact on our planet. Every business is a social entity, hence has a responsibility of making sure it is looking at growth keeping future generations in mind.
Sustainable development meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
To contain global warming to a 1.5 degrees C rise, global net human-caused emission of carbon dioxide CO2 would need to fall by 45 percent from 2010 levels by 2030, reaching net zero around 2050.
Firms need to change the way they conduct business over next 2-3 years.
Business Megatrends and Sustainability
Business Megatrend refers to societal and economic shifts such as globalization, the rise of the information society, and so on.
Current Megatrends: Rapid Urbanization, climate change, and resource scarcity, shift in global economic power, demographic and social changes, technical breakthroughs, etc.
Sustainability is an important megatrend. GM’s decline can be clearly traced to its failure to understand how quality considerations would transform the auto industry. Similarly, Kodak’s dominant position in photography eroded quickly as it missed the signals in digital technologies.
A sustainable business model is the one when a firm can keep a balance between the three factors – Profit, People, and Planet.
A firm cannot just focus on today’s profit but also need to think of tomorrow’s growth and sustainability.
For sustainable growth, a firm needs to do well in all four quadrants. Firms need to reduce material consumption, reduce pollution, reduce waste generation. This can be achieved by a greater level of transparency and responsiveness
Some of the strategies including adopting green technologies and work towards inclusive wealth creation and distribution (reduce poverty), will help firms move towards sustainable growth.