Eco-responsibility: an urgent challenge for businesses
There's no time to lose!
Reconciling the economy and the environment has been a major topic in the media for years.
It's no exaggeration to say that this is the biggest challenge of the 21st century.
Pollution, climate change, ecosystem degradation, loss of biodiversity...
For several decades now, experts have been warning us of the urgency of the situation.
Specialists, governments, associations and citizens are all aware of what's at stake for our planet and our future. And you certainly are, too!
Yet the situation seems to be getting worse by the day.
Since 1969, we've been measuring the Day of Exceedance: that famous day when we've used up all the resources the planet has to offer for the year...
But this day is steadily receding:
So what can do?
This is no time to give up!
Everyone must continue to work in the right direction.
Companies have a role to play, of course, but they're not the only ones: citizens, governments and economic players all have a share of responsibility and a role to play in minimizing the damage and relaunching a truly sustainable development cycle.
Since the 50s, there have been numerous multilateral meetings seeking to impose sustainable development measures: from Earth Summits such as Rio to the various COPs, the results remain disappointing or controversial.
In this real battle, companies are an essential link in the chain.
Companies are at the heart of the production process, meeting consumers' needs or sometimes creating some of those needs.
Companies draw on the environment's resources and help transform them into goods and services.
But this is not without negative impacts on nature. Some companies contribute to deforestation and soil or water pollution, emit greenhouse gases...
This is known as the company's environmental impact or ecological footprint:
This impact is one aspect of the problem, and many recommendations and scenarios point towards sustainable development.
What is sustainable development?
It is " development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs " (Brundtland Report, UN, 1987).
By relying on 3 pillars that must balance each other without ever encroaching on the others:
- Economics, the quest for profits
- Social responsibility: ensuring an acceptable standard of living for all
- The environment, respecting the environment and resources
In this context, the actions of companies can and must make a difference!
They are capable of contributing to sustainable development by taking up the challenge of reducing their environmental footprint. This is a major responsibility.
Citizens, governments and employees alike encourage or even force them to do so.
Eco-responsibility: what's it all about?
Ecoresponsibility: "Quality of a natural or legal person, behavior or activity that takes into account the principle of long-term respect for the physical, social and economic environment".
And for companies?
It's the commitments and environmentally-friendly practices they put in place ...
In other words, their ability to limit the negative impact of their production or operating activities on the environment .
All aspects of the company's activity are concerned: product and/or service design, production, logistics, purchasing and optimized management of employee travel are other levers for action.
To make this ecological transition a success, we need to study and rethink the entire life cycle of products and services, from design to disposal, from production to distribution .
So we need to review our current model... and adopt a more virtuous and sustainable one.