by Richard Brubaker
When looking for leadership on sustainability, and for those who are going to deliver the solutions that are needed, the search typically begins with big businesses like Wal-Mart and Unilever and their leaders. The search tends to focus on firms, and leaders, who have large platforms from which they can announce their commitments to changing products, processes, and people as they execute their vision for sustainability. At times, these announcements have been backed up by significant investments in time and energy.
“They have the power to not only solve crises but to create a new business model.”
However, as the challenges of maintaining balance between economy, environment, and society has grown more difficult to maintain, it is the role of the entrepreneur as visionary and solution provider that has begun proving the power of business, and markets. They have the power to not only solve crises but to create a new business model. One that starts with a vision of sustainability at the core, and captures an ecosystem of customers along the way that shows that a “sustainable business model” isn’t an unprofitable one.
Take for example the food sector, one that is rife with consumer scandals and resource challenges in China, where large brands have been largely focused on risk mitigation, resource efficiency, and crisis prevention. For traditional “big food” players, the challenge is compounded by the size and scale of their supply chains plus the speed with which China, and other markets, is growing. Firms need to identify, assess, and engage tens of thousands of farmers on one end of the value chain while creating thousands of new distribution points that will deliver product to the market on the other. There is no time to slow down or go back to do things “right”.
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Curated from The Next Big Thing For Entrepreneurs: Sustainability
Note: Featured Image credit to Intel Free Press via Flicker.com