The United States economy is the most powerful in the world and the biggest economy in history. This means consumers and workers run the economy. The money we earn and spend are very powerful tools. We decide who gets the money we have earned. Last week, the Trump administration ordered a tax on imported steel. Many see this as a start to a new trade war. Anytime there is war or threat of war, there is a likelihood of scarcity which will drive up prices. This also means we have a responsibility to use our money in a way that is productive for our community and will not destroy our planet. We must make sure the companies we support are being socially, environmentally and financially responsible. We are able to influence the way companies act by the decisions we make with our wallets.
We are part of a material economy. The five stages are: extraction, production, distribution, consumption and disposal. However, there is a lot missing from this system. People are also part of this economy. We have a say in how these five stages are managed. Sustainable business practices ensure these stages are managed in an effective and efficient way.
Many times when we think of a sustainable business, we think of businesses that lose money because they are not “purely” capitalistic. Sustainable businesses are becoming more and more successful. Evidence of this is displayed last year when ,Telsa, the electric vehicle company, surpassed Ford Motor in market value and moved within striking distance of GM. Investors see Telsa as a great company because of the potential for dramatic growth.
I encourage you to invest in and do business with organizations that are sustainable. How can you find out if the company is sustainable and uses green business practices? You can find out by looking at the corporate profile on line and see if they have a sustainability plan. Sustainability plans show how the company is adhering to sustainability principles and how close they are to achieving these goals. The plans should include environmental, social and governance targets and benchmarks. 3 of the biggest moves were made by 3 big companies. CVS made a bold move by taking tobacco products out of their stores. McDonalds has announced they plan on purchasing sustainable beef in 2016 and Walmart has become a leader in sustainability with its Sustainablity360 program.
Each year more companies are becoming aware of the value in becoming more sustainable. We as consumers must also become more aware and make better decisions with our money. We must keep the pressure on these companies to do more to benefit the planet. This is not the only way to make a change but it is one of the quickest and most effective ways. We must support businesses that support us and value the planet we share.
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