When you think about environmental sustainability in business, three types of groups come to mind. The first group being the one at loggerheads with the environment. Somehow their motto is, “if it is good for the environment it is bad for business”. These include people who pollute the environment either by releasing waste into the water system, air, and land in general without proper care for the environment.
Secondly, we have risk mitigators. This group will support environmental leadership and stewardship programs. This group supports clean systems, tree planting, and other forms of mitigation measures to ensure proper care of the environment. And thirdly we have the progressive groups. The ones that look at environmental issues as opportunities. They look to change the way of operation in the system. And how to innovate and support new products based on environmental challenges. KCV is one key player in this category.
Environmental sustainability in business is hence a journey that the aforementioned stakeholders have to join and work together in a synergetic way to deliver a better Earth that we all live in. There is nobody who operates in business in isolation or lives entirely isolated. Our livelihoods are interconnected. If one person destroys the environment, we all face the consequences of that. Our joint efforts to make the environment better is a global initiative.
Every person should take responsibility in protecting the environment. This participation can be done through activities like planting a tree a month every year. The role cannot be left to only the corporates alone. It has to be a joint effort. Also mitigating against environmental pollution has to be jointly done.
One way corporations can help the general public and all stakeholders to think more about sustainability and enact good sustainability practices, can boil down to pricing. Educating the public on how poor environmental practices can lead to costly lifestyles on basic products such as bread and milk can create a grand mind shift.
When it comes to sustainability in corporate financing, we have to understand that every business needs funding to run more successfully. Sometimes these funds are acquired as loans or investment capital to grow the business. If we are to streamline how sustainability conscious companies become, it should be mitigated at the point of financing.
Take for instance the methods used to qualify a business for financing; screening the business to find out how sustainable it is. If the business is actively polluting the environment and has zero measures of mitigating the practice doing nothing around changing that, then funding can be made scarce to such businesses in that effect. This definitely will prompt a lot of positive changes towards environmental consciousness if the said businesses are to survive.
Similarly, businesses that are already engaging in implementing sustainable practices into the sustainability aspect of their day-to-day operations, should be rewarded for it. Mainly through greater preference in regards towards such companies when it comes to funding as well as other investment contributions made to aid them to become better in running a sustainable centered business.
The first two approaches will include avoiding harm and managing risk through the use of the power of investment in protecting the environment as a whole. Then lastly, we have the ultimate level which is sustainable philanthropy where profit in business is completely disregarded and the focus only becomes creating a better environment in various sectors. Such businesses should be prioritized when it comes to funding and their mission and ethos spread widely for other companies to benchmark on.
That is why at KCV Limited, we have invested USD 3.61 million in 18 climate-smart enterprises in Kenya. And we believe the mission is steadily underway to positively impact and change our environment for the better at both a personal and corporate level.