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Sustainability is the path to prosperity

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Earth Day…

By: M Ahmad

Earth is the third of eight planets in our solar system and the only known place in the universe to support life. It is estimated to be 4.54 billion years old, plus or minus about 50 million years. Earth Day is observed globally on 22nd of April every year to continue promoting environmental awareness and to remind us that we can protect the earth in our everyday lives as well. It was designated in 1970 as a day of education about global environmental issues.

Earth Day, annual celebration is honouring the achievements of the environmental movements and raising awareness of the importance of long-term ecological sustainability.

Sustainable prosperity is a concept that reflects a comprehensive, long-term vision for a community. It represents a higher and wider focus for positive changes that target the increase of true community wealth. It represents a healthier, happier, more prosperous future. It is the path to prosperity. So for both humanitarian and business reasons, it is imperative that companies of all sizes take action and embrace the benefits of a green economy. The future will be about sustainable business, and collaboration is the key to cultivate new markets with Value Driven Mindsets. Now is the time to learn to act in collaboration with ecosystem partners. Real measurable progress on environmental, social and governance issues is possible through innovative business models, partnerships and technology.

The path to prosperity for humanity is a combination of many factors, sustainability is one of them. It explores the environmental, economic and social implications of our decisions and attempts to find sustainable solutions to environmental problems. Today we are faced with a deeper transformation need; Long term purpose and values are replacing current business metrics. Smart people and organizations are building their boats with a new perspective, a new strategy, a new business model that will reshape the rules in business world.  Our path to prosperity must be driven by long-term economics, not short-term politics.

Business prosperity in the long-term relies on resource availability. By 2050 the world will be home to 9.5 billion consumers, all looking toward business to provide the products and services they need. This consumption drives our economy—but puts a massive burden on our planet’s resources. Tell business leaders to get on board with a sustainable future or get out of the way. To continue our longstanding tradition and commitment of leaving a better future the next generation, we must continue making decisions that align economic prosperity with environmental protection and human health. This, to me, is the most important test of business leadership.  It’s time for committed sustainability leaders to live those values, speak truth to power, and move the dialog beyond transactional, and short-term campaign promises to long-term health for the economy and the planet.

It’s possible to extract resources with attention to environmental consequences, but unless it’s done in ways that ensure the planet remains healthy enough to support human life, where all people enjoy peace, health and food security, can it really be called sustainable? A UN statement offers a compelling vision: “A world in which consumption and production patterns and use of all natural resources — from air to land, from rivers, lakes and aquifers to oceans and seas — are sustainable. One in which democracy, good governance and the rule of law, as well as an enabling environment at national and international levels, are essential for sustainable development, including sustained and inclusive economic growth, social development, environmental protection and the eradication of poverty and hunger. One in which development and the application of technology are climate-sensitive, respect biodiversity and are resilient. One in which humanity lives in harmony with nature and in which wildlife and other living species are protected.”

People, planet and profit  have long been the triad balancing act of good business. With the recent stark report from the IPCC re-echoing the urgency of our response to the climate crisis – keeping things in balance is one of the most sought after skills of business leaders today. We are determined to protect the planet from degradation, including through sustainable consumption and production, sustainably managing its natural resources and taking urgent action on climate change, so that it can support the needs of the present and future generations. The fate of the world is up to all of us. We need to encourage all levels of government, along with relevant organizations, to understand and contribute to the plan’s success We live in a dynamic world where the impact of human activity on the environment and society is now recognised as needing urgent attention.

And while there is still time to solve the climate crisis, time to choose BOTH a prosperous and sustainable future, and time to restore nature and build a healthy planet for our children and their children, time is short.

Unless businesses act now, climate change will ever more deeply damage economies, increase scarcity, drain profits and job prospects, and impact us all. We need to find nature-based solutions to replace old economic models. Circular, de-carbonised, collaborative and inclusive business models – to name just a few – are emerging business approaches that represent our best chances to create a sustainable economy.

By choosing Sustainable Prosperity, we are teaching a valuable lesson to our children as well as their children. We are teaching them how important it is to be kind to nature and the environment around them.

The writer is Former IncahrgeAbhedananda Home-Higher Secondary Institution for Specially-abled Children, Solina, Srinagar, J&K   email: specialachivers [email protected]

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