On the responsibility of ethical business

plant office

One thing that the climate crisis is teaching us is that nature is not a resource for humans to profit from – it is a system that we are part of. 

In the Western view of the world, many see humans as separate from nature – superior to it, and dominant over it. 

We see nature as a valuable asset – a resource that provides for human needs and interests.

However, to say that nature is valuable means acknowledging that it has value in itself, beyond what it can provide to humanity. Protecting and nurturing it increases its inherent value. 

Growth for the pursuit of monetary gain cannot be the only thing that businesses strive towards. We need an economic system that balances our needs with the fragile ecology of the natural world. 

Just take a look at the severe weather events that have happened this week to know that the ball is well and truly rolling on climate catastrophe. We are not separate from or independent to the natural system – we directly impact it, just as it directly affects us as well.

It is time for businesses to take charge of their processes and practices to not just minimise impact, but to contribute beneficially to their communities and ecosystems that revolve around them. 

In 2019, the UN’s International Labour Organisation reported that almost all industries are threatened by the effects of climate change, either directly or indirectly, and around 80 million jobs would be lost.

And one survey found that 80 per cent of respondents believe businesses have a responsibility to combat climate change and social inequity.

Being a good corporate citizen means being accountable to both people and the planet. 

Many consumers are doing what they can, but are starting to realise that conscious consumerism alone isn’t enough, and the corporations are where the real power lies. And as they say, “with great power comes great responsibility”.

We have seen over the past few years what can be achieved in a short period of time when the political and social will is there, and the public are now far less willing to tolerate weak climate policies and far-off targets. 

Businesses like yours have huge power in enacting change for the good of the planet and of humanity. And businesses big or small rely on a stable climate to ensure their success and longevity as a business. 

Rose Mary Petrass

Bye for now. Get in touch if you have any interesting business news for us to report, or if you’re an existing Greenlister and want to share what you’re up to: hello@thegreenlist.com.au

– Rose Mary Petrass, your Green List curator