There is currently social unrest in Quebec, Canada, where students and high school students are demanding more accessible education, while the government stubbornly replies the country can’t afford the low tuition fees currently offered to students, to be increased +75% in the upcoming years.
Beyond the political debate, it’s inspiring to see youth actively involved in their future. It’s clear that if we have to live harmoniously in a society, we have to adopt sustainable practices. Having only financial targets and deciding without involving stakeholders is a recipe for social discourse, with the price far greater than you would have paid if sustainable practices were followed in the beginning. It is now estimated that the price of the student strike is now far beyond the hike in tuition fees.
This student spring is a good example of un-sustainable and old-school practices. Governments should know otherwise, as seen in Chile, Taiwan, Egypt and many other countries worldwide. If you are looking out for solutions, there are valid paths that can be followed: that’s being a sustainable organization, and being a long-term oriented, values-based organization
What are the different steps in being a sustainable and socially responsible business? It’s first by recognizing that you can be socially responsible while being at the same-time for-profit organization. The first objective can support and work in conjonction with your status as a for-profit venture. Second, being sustainable means recognizing all the stakeholders. That can go from suppliers, employees to customers, and of course the community you are living in.
Here at SustainableBizDesign, the practice goes far and much beyond that what’s currently practised. We pledge to give 20% of our revenues and efforts (not 20% of profits!) to sustainable initiatives. We track our impact, and actively ask each stakeholder what’s their experience with us, with key questions as such : “If you haven’t done business with us, would you be more or less happy?” With that question, we have to to do our best to give positive experiences and happinness.
Here’s to all who believe in progress, and want to build a forward-looking society!
Photo: Facing the future by IanLucero, CreativeCommons License on Flickr.