Since thinking about social responsibility and sustainable practices is something that ingrains our education today, I can’t help but struggle with some of the concepts. For many, being socially responsible is a deliberate decision that they make. An organization may add on a CSR initiative, things as small as giving employees free hours to volunteer and initiatives as big as funding medication production and distribution to cure river blindness.
Then there are the deliberate decisions that are more focused on identifying green opportunities. “I can make this product, improve the environment, and make a profit at the same time.” There are the pretend-green firms doing this, and then there are sustainable entrepreneurs.
What about if you just “are”? You didn’t have to make a conscious, deliberate decision to be sustainable, you just did it because that’s how you wanted to do things. Or even better, because that’s just how things are done?
I use my turn signals when I drive. My benefit for doing this behavior comes from the fact that I have signaled to those around me what I intend to do…and they don’t smash into me. We all can go about our day because of turn signals. It’s just what drivers do.
While I may be overly optimistic, I’m getting the feeling that “going green” isn’t a new fad or initiative anymore. It’s just the thing to do. Yes, there are added benefits (hopefully a melting ice cap won’t submerge your factory), but I don’t get the impression that people are sitting around a table and wrestling with the decision to me smarter about production, planning, or even living. Yes, there are some decisions that need wrestling, but I imagine it’s not so much the going green part, but the how to get there that’s stumping people.
And then for others, it’s a no brainer. There’s an empty mall? Why not revive it and move our headquarters there? It can improve the neighborhood instead of being an eyesore (and we didn’t have to level it and build a new building–bonus!). Alright, let’s do that.
A lot of this will just be about lifestyle at some point. The way you use your turn signal. It’s a sign you give because it’s just what you do.