The Next Industrial Revolution depicts the ideas of Michael Braungart and William McDonough in their attempts to transform the relationship between business and the environment or nature. The two have worked with the leading corporations such as Nike and Ford in redesigning their products, processes and buildings to meet the environmental needs. The two observe that a beneficial economic growth must conform to nature’s rule.
The idea is to present beneficial economic growth by taking care of nature. Therefore, The Next Industrial Revolution depicts economic scenarios that inspire business people to consider environmental matters seriously. Likewise, they must also realign their current institutions and businesses to conform to the rule of nature and reconsider the current business actions, consumers, and the public to enhance a new and a sustainable relationship with nature (Sarandon 2002).
Authors of Green to Gold, Esty and Winston note “the economy and the environment deeply intertwine with each other” (Esty and Winston 11). This is the same idea the movie presents. The authors explore some of the paradigm shift in successful companies and how these companies are shifting their methods of conducting business and environmental relations. At the same time, they also highlight how organisations are focusing profit growth, and cost reduction, increasing market share with the environmental sustainability.
Modern corporations face several challenges in relation to sustainability of the environment. Consequently, firms have begun to implement environmental changes in their value chains. These changes include customers’ demands for environmental friendly products, responses to depletion of resources, concerns for waste disposals, safeguarding of brand names, and reduce the cost associated with the environmental lawsuits.
Modern organizations must meet the varied demand of their customers in order to keep their position in the marketplaces. This calls for responsibility not only for corporate firms, but also for end-users of their products.
Organizations of today must adopt a strategy of sustainability to guide their success. As both Esty and Winston and the film depict, organizations must put their business and environment their top priorities. Thus, the top management of firms must formulate such policies for employees to adopt. Henry Ford clearly demonstrated this principle through his writings that “You must get the most out of the power, out of the material, and out of the time”.
These principles created lean and clean operating procedures in Ford Motors. Top management must also resist any attempts to block changes that enhance environmental sustainability. A company’s stand on environmental conservation may damage its reputation among stakeholders and possibly attract lawsuit from environmentalists. Therefore, Gold to Green and The Next Industrial Revolution encourage organizations to adopt sustainable strategies in their pursuit for business.
The Next Industrial Revolution shows that organizations that have adopted environmental protection strategies are constantly redesigning their services and products, and supply chains to fit the needs of nature. Therefore, sustainability becomes a part of organizational culture, and promotional strategies meant to drive revenue growth.
Organizations that have adopted nature demands as a part of their corporate culture have found new markets and increased their business revenue. In other words, environmental sustainability efforts have created new markets, and new consumers that constantly need environmental friendly products. These firms also save resources in terms of efficiency, waste reduction, product design, risk reduction, and cut in expenses but ultimately increase their revenues and profit.
Marketing conditions such as environmental policies, ever increasing costs of energy and raw material, growing global population and intensive use of limited resources influence the conditions of contemporary companies in production of goods and services. In addition, factors such as globalization, rapid developments in IT, products innovations and evolving market requirements control companies’ decisions on productions regarding environmental sustainability.
Sustainable developments focus on how companies can meet the demands of today’s consumer without interfering with the future generations. The concept of green solutions emanates from the ecological changes and processes that have occurred in the economy and society. Sustainable economy requires innovative products and processes in value chains and networks linked to the natural environment.
Sustainable development follows the value chain from the product manufacturer to customer and proceeds up to the final stage of disposal of products and handling of materials in the processes of lifecycles. Decisions regarding the planning and design of products and processes form part of the integrated value chain in sustainable development. This implies that technical, economic and ecological perspectives must be incorporated into one approach.
An organization, which ignores incorporating its green agenda in its marketing strategy, does not have the interests of its stakeholders. This is because by creating social and environmental values, sustainability marketing strives to create and increase consumers’ values. The idea of sustainability marketing focuses on consumers’ needs and wants. Companies try to develop sustainable products to provide solutions to modern customers through products value, prices, distributions, and promotion to the target groups.
Organizations must reconsider current actions of businesses, consumers, and the public to enhance a new, sustainable relationship with nature. This will create a situation whereby organizational prosperity will continue, and economic activities will increase. Sustainability or eco-efficiency aims at changing organizations from consuming and wasting trends witnessed in the past into a system that inculcate environmental concerns, consumers’ needs, and economic. Most organizations consider sustainability as the business strategy for change.
Environmental pundits have stressed the importance of sustainability for organizations that want to remain competitive, successful and sustainable. In fact, some analysts predict that it would be impossible for some organizations to conduct business if they do not respond to the rules of nature. Organizations must add value by consuming fewer resources, release low amount of wastes, and sustain the environment.
Past trends indicate that sustainability is gaining recognition among industries. A number of organizations are increasingly committing themselves to sustaining the environment such as Walt Disney, UPS, and Johnson & Johnson, among others. Most of these organizations adopt the using and recycling methods to sustain nature.
This trend is also gaining acceptance in both homes and workplaces because it has both eco-friendly and economic advantages. Reduction in energy consumptions, resource use, pollution, and wastes will translate into economic benefits for the value chains. This sense of eco-efficiency and sustainability of the environment has reduced fearful concerns for the future.
Organizations and the public admire sustainability as a well-intended idea. However, the challenge is that is sustainability a life-long strategy for a success. Therefore, organizations that focus primarily on the profits may have challenges in implementation of a sustainability agenda into their corporate cultures.
We are relying on organizations that caused the problem to bring changes in environmental conservation. These industries will slowly and persistently continue depleting resources, and make environmental conservation efforts illusions.
Esty, Daniel and Andrew Winston. Green to Gold: How Smart Companies Use Environmental Strategy to Innovate, Create Value, & Build Competitive Advantage. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2006. Print.
The Next Industrial Revolution. Dir. William McDonough and Michael Braungart. Perf. Susan Sarandon. Earthome Productions, 2002. Film.