Becoming an environmentalist while trying to turn a profit
Added on 19 January 2023
In a previous article, I posed the question, Who Should Lead The Environmental Movement? In this follow up-piece, I want to explain why I struggle seeing myself or any other small, medium or large business owners being leaders or role models in this movement.
You see, I believe most of us start or go into business for similar reasons. We also evaluate success in similar ways. And while I don’t think this stops business people and entrepreneurs from trying to be as sustainable as possible, I believe we should not be the ones leading the environmental charge. However, businesses in agriculture or horticulture must still keep the environment in mind with every decision because we rely on access to natural resources for our success, regardless of the facility we farm in.
Sustainability is based on a simple principle: Everything that we need for our survival and well-being depends, either directly or indirectly, on our natural environment. To pursue sustainability is to create and maintain the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony to support present and future generations. – United States Environmental Protection Agency
Why did I start my business?
I started my business because I was tired of working for someone else. It’s really that simple. And like most entrepreneurs, I was not (nor am I) independently wealthy. So I obviously needed my idea to make money. I also had to add value to an industry I was experienced in and ensure that value was great enough to monetarily reward me for the effort and energy I put into my business.
All businesses share certain characteristics. Making money might be the factor that binds each one together. And whether you own or manage a business, you do what’s needed to turn a profit (while acting within the law and a certain set of ethics). I would go one step further and state that businesses don’t have a choice other than to focus on profit. After all, banks, investors and vendors demand profit (at some time), or they create a situation where a business struggles to exist or continue to operate. (See current state of the CEA Industry.)
Photo by Tobias Weinhold on Unsplash