0 Comments |  Greening your Business |  PRINT | 

Ditching the short-term thinking

Tuesday, 10 May 2011 | By Richard Nicol

The smart and opportunistic business operators can capitalise on changes in sustainability while maximising profits, environmental and social benefits all at the same time. Clever, huh?

 

‘Future discounting’ is neglecting the needs of the future for present gains or rewards, often referred to as short-term thinking.

 

Short-term thinking almost always goes against principles of sustainability and is often the modus operandi for the majority of businesses.

 

‘Opportunity cost’ is the concept of appraising the economic value in taking one option at the expense of another.

 

We are in business to make money, which often results in short-term opportunities being the most attractive. What happens when we go for the quick buck or the cheapest fix to a solution?

 

A good current example of opportunity cost and future discounting is our government’s inability to take action on greenhouse gas reduction.

 

Nearly all the economic commentators agree that the longer we take to put a price on GHG pollution the more expensive the solution will become in the future, for everyone.

 

Provided that we agree that climate change is being caused by humans, it seems inevitable that a price on GHG pollution will occur across the world eventually.

 

It may get to the stage where certain economic regions will not trade with other regions that don't include the cost of GHG emissions in their products.

 

Before this happens, however, there are massive opportunities to firstly reduce GHG emissions and operating expenses but also to take advantage of new technologies, partnerships and directions in your business through the plethora of opportunities offered through practicing sustainability.

 

The key is to be open to new opportunities. If you keep doing the same things you will continue to get the same results.

 

As operating costs go up, doesn't it make sense to plan ahead for reducing them?

 

The newest growing markets are where large profits are most often made and there are a lot of these opportunities in environment and sustainability services.

 

Before you rush in for the quick buck or avoid spending a little extra upfront have a think about what you might be missing out on.