There are many instances in the last few years that have given us pause for thought about how businesses are contributing to the betterment of the future for the planet and the next generations that will call our planet home.
These horrific Australian wildfires are a marker for any Entrepreneur to stop and ask ourselves what are we doing to earn money, increase profits and provide employment? If we are doing any or all of it without caring what the consequences are for the sustainability of our environment, then I believe we are being incredibly short sighted and selfish.
Personally, I have made a decision that I will never sell my business. Its far more useful to me and my family as a going concern that continues to provide prosperity as I get older and long after I’m gone. However, if my business is going to be a true legacy, and provide true prosperity, it has to do so by growing in strength, and strengthening the ties between its contribution to sustainability of the planet. A business with no planet, has no future.
I own a relatively small business, but its growing. Our decision two years ago was that the growth must be tied to environmental awareness, not because of legislation, but voluntarily. It has not been easy, but we are making headway. In our business of providing anti fouling and anti corrosion solutions that help large vessels reduce maintenance cost, reduce energy usage, reduce fuel consumption, add a level of safety, and in many cases contribute to reducing emissions, we could say we are doing our part.
It was not enough, we decided we had to also provide this protection whilst co-existing with the oceans eco-systems and almost completely removing our impact on the species that call the ocean home. We are not all the way there yet, but we are on the right track. Its our mission. We had to move in this direction knowing that it might briefly effect our revenue as the market starts to understand the possibilities.
It is incumbent on businesses, no matter how small, to think of the next generations. I might leave my business to my children or grandchildren one day, but if I leave them with a business that is destroying the planet, I have left them nothing.
The Australian wildfires are yet another warning, and an opportunity, for us as entrepreneurs to lead the way in making the world a better place. Not just build our businesses recklessly, forgetting our responsibility to our children.
I wish you all sustainable success in 2020. Our legacy, and how we are remembered, is in our hands. Together we can make difference, it is up to us now!