The environment provides us with air to breathe, water to drink and resources to maintain our way of life. But all of us—from individuals through to huge multinational companies—are destroying it daily through our collective actions. None of these actions on its own is significant but take together they are a disaster for mankind. We are not just spoiling the environment for our daughters and grandsons, but also digging our collective mass grave.
Where to start? When can we possibly do when faced with such a huge problem? Whenever I speak of climate action and responsible business conduct with small and medium-sized enterprises—which collectively account for an overwhelming 98 per cent or more of all enterprises in most countries—I hear the same themes emerging: “dollars and cents first”, “no budget” and above all, “we are too small to make a difference” (Vandenberg, Chantapacdepong, & Yoshino, 2016).
The irony is that SMEs are the most vulnerable to natural disasters (AXA Group, UNEPIF, PSII, 2016, p.3). And it is SMEs that will pay most dearly in Asia since it is this continent that will be most at-risk from climate change.
If SMEs believe they cannot make a difference, we are all doomed. Yet, SMEs are fighting back! I was particularly inspired by Sunfresh, a Singapore-based producer of fruit juices sold across the Asia-Pacific region, who are reducing waste and cost whilst also benefiting the environment with Actions that doesn’t cost the earth” (Sunfresh, n.d.).
Indeed this is the most compelling reason for doing your part; it’s simply good business.
This excerpt is from taken from Sue Meng Chan’s article entitled Climate Action: Simply Good Business that’s published on THink #3: Visions for the Future. To access the full article, please click here.
Catch Sue Meng Chan share her insights as panellist on “Championing Circular Advantage in ASEAN” at the ASEAN Summit 2018—The Future of ASEAN Economy: Greening for Sustainable Growth happening on 24 October 2018 at the Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre. Sue Meng is the Founder & Director of Green Shoots Communications Pte Ltd, a consulting company that offers end-to-end quality service for CSR, philanthropy and social impact. She is a published heritage author, has an MA in Asia Pacific Studies, and is a GRI Certified Sustainability Reporting Specialist.