What is a sustainable business model?
And other interesting sustainability related questions.
It’s been a while since we’ve added content on here, despite the global situation, busy-ness can take many forms in our life but it’s a great time to ground ourselves, connect, support others and self reflect where we can. With the current Covid19 pandemic many of the things that were likely relevant before seem somewhat less so now and there are things which were probably in our buried deep in our awareness then that are suddenly much more pertinent now: and will be going forward in every aspect of our life - including those related to business. At times like these - pandemics, recession, big life events (birth, death, illness, change), it is common to rethink our priorities, purpose and existence.
Our focus at the Inceptery is sustainability and sustainable business models. The definitions of this are wide and varied but at a fundamental level for us it is about business balancing financial profitability with societal benefits, solving meaningful challenges related to the human condition and protecting, nurturing or regenerating the planet.
The idea of a sustainable business model is not new, some of the worlds largest companies that still exist today actually started out as models of this. These purpose based businesses were looking to commercially address many of the fundamental challenges of their day, in new ways, and at scale. By today’s standards for some of us, some of these may seem a little too simple. Nonetheless they were doing so in a socially and environmentally responsible way - since they had not yet developed the technology, knowledge, appetite and means by which to extract, produce or deliver with what appears to be - little limit or consideration for the continuity of our planet or civilisation as we know it. Some are returning to purposeful roots now but there are often conflicting agendas and motives underpinning decisions and many have evolved alongside the currents of interconnected global commerce, shareholder returns and profit as the lead imperative - disconnecting their core business from such accountability of nature and society. Some manage to do less bad by off-setting or creating foundations to give back in some way. Those responsible organisations were onto something at the time, and these principles have influenced many of the ways in which commercial practices have developed. Over the last few years as it becomes increasingly evident that humanity cannot go on, in the same direction and in the same way as it has been for the last century (without reaching our natural resource limits, planetary boundaries, widening the inequality gap or causing unintended consequences) - existing and new companies are being built around these ideals. One of our strong beliefs is that business is a key driver and enabler to solving some of the global challenges in a conscious, holistic and sustained way. We are hopeful in a version of the future that embraces conscious capitalism. It’s being demonstrated right now as the pandemic has catalysed non sustainability-led businesses to into acts we we could never imagine under ‘business as usual’ circumstances.
But what precisely is a sustainable business model?
In the following interview, Anna Chashchyna (Environmental and Social Impact Officer at Eurocape New Energy, author on Medium, host of Sustainability Explored) talks to Dr Anna Itkin (The Inceptery).
#SustainabilityExplored is a podcast on sustainability and innovations in business and economy.
The podcast is around 30 minutes and offers insights from Anna Itkin where she shares her opinions and answers on questions such as:
- What is a sustainable business model and how is it different from the traditional business model?
- What kinds of challenges are companies usually usually looking to solve or implement?
- How big should the primary investment in re-shaping business towards sustainability be?
- What the main hurdles are for a sustainable business model?
- What is a definition of a sustainability strategy? Where does it start and end?
- Given the crisis generated by Covid19, what can we expect in the field of business sustainability: a new breath or a serious rollback?
- Shares one piece of advice for the listeners.
Here is the link to the podcast episode featuring Anna Itkin.
We want to thank Anna Chashchyna for extending her invite to Anna and look forward to hearing more on her podcasts in the future around the wide topics in sustainability.
Here is the link to the podcast Sustainability Explored.