Hope you all have been well! I haven’t been able to find a time to post because my wife and I were working on our gender reveal for our… Daughter! Very excited for that, but for now we will get back to our topic on Values within a business.
Today’s topic is Value of Environment, which will include a lot of questions we need to ask ourselves and summarizes with why it is important.
While the earth is still able to provide us with materials, we need to consider what we are giving back to the environment, as we are ultimately taking away a resource from it regardless of what industry we are in. I know on a global scale there are some hot button topics, that we won’t get into, but the value of environment applies to either stance you take.
The principle is simple, to give back what to the environment equivalent to what your taking away. One debtor, we often forget that exists, is nature, where we get our resources from. Unless your finding a way to harvest outer world resources, the product we create we make came from the earth, we need to be good stewards of what we are given to use.
Without going back to the elementary school lesson of reduce, reuse, recycle (which is still relevant), we need to be thinking what can we do in our industry, as entrepreneurs, to bring our product full circle back to the earth or to keep value in it so it can be continuously used by future generations. The question is, what kind of business are we running? Is it a business that produces a product or a service? How can we be diligent in either one of those practices?
Lets start with the service industry, how can we be thinking of the environment in this business model. First we have to consider how our service is making an impact, do we have customers driving to us? Am I utilizing any materials in the process of providing this service? What am I doing with the waste that my service provides? The main question being, is there a process, my service provides, that pulls from the environment? Can this process be improved upon to exhibit less pressure on the environment?
Quite frankly, if your business is a low waste service, such as, financial advice, diet consultations or website development, it is hard to improve upon any process, in an environmental way, because your not pulling much from the planet, but if your business is a high waste service, such as, clearing junk from properties, cleaning houses or cutting hair, its a whole different ball game. High waste services have an opportunity to analyze their disposal and usage processes which often involves by-products that are either used or discarded during their service, which begs the question, Where is that by-product going? Is it altering another product to render it non-biodegradable? Can my by-product be reused by someone else? Ultimately, can my service be more diligent with its’ by-product?
Now, lets talk about the industries that involve a product, which has multiple levels of considering the environment. The first thing to consider is, What resources are needed to create my product? Next, How is my product going to be used? Lastly, How will my product be disposed of?
The consideration of what resources are needed to make your product yields the direction of environmental impact your product will have. Ask the question, does this resource I am using have a half life (decomposition time) that is longer my life span? If it is longer, will this product have use long after I am dead? Although morbid, we only can seek out our ventures because the planet had the resources we needed available for us in our life times. If we are creating a product with resources that can’t be given back, we are essentially robbing future generations of the same ventures we seek to pursue.
This leads us to the next question, how is my product going to be used? Is it going to be a single use? Or used multiple times? If we create a product that is short lived in its’ use, are we making sure that it is half life isn’t longer that the time that the product was used? If it is a product that can see a long period of time of use, will it be able to be salvaged once the period of use is over?
The last part is about the disposing of your product, will the next generation be able to use the resources salvaged from your products decomposition or dismantle? If not, what makes that product’s legacy so great that it will be intact for generations to come? At the end of your product’s usage, if it can’t be repurposed, is the value it provided to the user better than the depletion of that resource from the earth?
As entrepreneurs, we are still so blessed to have resources at our disposal, but the value in the environment is to show that we care about the next generation coming, that we are thankful to the planet that gave us the resources to use and that we can keep the resources accessible to our own business into the future if we are conscience about . When you ask yourself the questions from above, it isn’t meant to guilt trip anyone, but rather to start the thought process of how to make a give and take cycle that makes it viable for the planet to continue to thrive.
Thanks for reading and I appreciate any comments or feedback. Environment is a difficult one to shorten to a quick blog post, so I’d appreciate any thoughts on it as well.
All the best.