Sustainability...an aid to today and tomorrow
Unchecked, short-sighted, and purely profit-driven business practices of the past have led us to a dystopian present with a deteriorating environment, increasing socio-economic inequality, and widespread resource shortage. Universal adoption of sustainable business practices is necessary to remedy the current situation. However, sustainability is not just an aid to improve the present, it is also humanity’s best tool to build a brighter future.
Sustainable development by definition is a long-term strategy. It calls for a modification of the present in ways that would not jeopardize the future.
It may be tempting to rapidly use all available resources. Given the cutthroat nature of the market, in order to compete, very often, businesses feel the pressure to get ahead at all costs. However, as a collective, we must weigh the true cost of insatiable, rapid development. Reckless consumption of resources today will inevitably create a resource shortage tomorrow. Further, the cost of this type of growth extends far beyond the environment. The aforementioned resources are most often sourced from geographies and communities that are far less privileged than those who profit off of those resources. Progress built on a foundation of exploitation can never be sustainable.
Conversely, sustainability also doesn’t mean building for the future to the detriment of the present. In fact, the sustainability measures taken to build a better future by default improve the present. Most sustainability-focused activities provide benefits for the short and the long term.
Not only is adopting sustainable development beneficial but failing to do that comes with dire consequences. The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated businesses by breaking down value chains. The pandemic has showcased the importance of sustainable value chains that can withstand shocks and unexpected events. Businesses that don’t adapt to a new normal are destined to fail. Strategy has become the most important function of business operations.
Without systemic, strategic changes any organization is at risk of irrelevance and economic collapse. Companies must learn from past mistakes and create roadmaps for the future. This can be enhanced with AI-driven strategy formulation, creating simulations with what-if analyses enabling the company to create a flexible yet feasible and viable roadmap. Incorporating sustainable business practices into an organization is not only an ethical and social responsibility but also an economic necessity. Sustainability is a necessary tool to survive today and thrive tomorrow.