Like everyone, I’m sure you’re aware of the growing influence of the international green lobby, and some of the ways it has affected international trade. With studies into climate change and other environmental threats becoming more and more sophisticated, we’re not going to see this trend disappearing any time soon. No matter what kind of niche your business occupies, here are some of the major trends you need to be aware of.
More Businesses are Measuring Their “Natural Capital”
If you’ve never heard the term “natural capital” before, then don’t worry, you’re not alone! Natural capital can be used to refer to any kind of environmental resource. At one time, consideration of the amount of natural capital that businesses consume used to just be a talking point in lecture halls. Now, it’s coming up in board rooms all over the world. While air and water pollution, the consumption of non-renewable resources, carbon emissions and so on used to be considered just another part of doing business, more and more companies are taking steps to measure their natural capital, and factor it into their financial decisions. While Europe and South America are leading the charge here, this is a trend that’s only going to spread.
The Fat Cats Are Starting to Care
In the past, the biggest investors in the world didn’t care about how environmentally conscious any given business was. However, a chain of superstorms and other climate disruptions in the last decade have really lit a fire underneath some of the most influential investors in the world. More and more, we’re seeing big investors who go out of their way to consider what businesses are doing to circumvent various environmental risks. This has not only raised the bar for small businesses looking for investors, but has also breathed life into various green business niches, such as renewable energy, recycled commodities and LED lighting products. There’s still a lot of work to be done, and this kind of responsible thinking is nowhere near mainstream yet. However, there’s no denying that there are more investors today who care about the impact they have on the environment than there were in years gone by.
Risk Management Has Fused with Sustainability
Floods, hurricanes, wildfires and droughts are just a few of the disasters which can be somewhat attributed to the way mankind has treated the planet. They’ve also been creating a lot of chaos within business’s supply chains with more and more frequency. For example, one report noted that Hurricane Sandy cost American businesses tens of billions of dollars in damages. Due to these and similar figures, climate change has swiftly become one of the major risks which need managing for modern business owners. Supply-chain disruptions caused by natural disasters are now on-par with terrorism and political upheaval in terms of threats to business. This, in turn, has created a much bigger role for sustainability executives, and placed more emphasis on the need to manage the risk of natural disasters and subsequent supply-chain disruptions.