The future holds both great opportunities and obstacles for business conducted by companies. New markets develop, and the pool of potential buyers increases in almost all businesses. This situation is based on great social and economic growth in countries such as India, China, Brazil and other population rich countries.
The population of growing economies is demanding products and services equivalent to its buying power and the newly developed middle-class of growing economies are now demanding more refined products, quality housing, personal transportation and a western like diet.
For companies, this development is certainly interesting, and new profitable markets and customers are not difficult to spot. However, the backside of this development is a potential depletion of natural resources, price increases of commodities such as oil, electricity, water, corn etc. Likewise, nature will potentially suffer dramatically from increased resource demands from global markets, and the globes natural resources such as forests and seas might get overexploited to a no reparable extend.
For companies the situation mentioned above is also alarming. Suddenly, raw materials may become scarce, and other production inputs such as clean water might become hard to get. Companies might not be able to sell its products to customers, who can no longer afford their products due to higher costs for e.g. food, water, fuel and other standard commodities that has become in short supply. The negative spiral is started, and the reason is straightforward – more is being produced and consumed than the planet can support.
To break the spiral, companies play a crucial role, and the companies mastering green innovation and sustainable production, will be the winners of tomorrows business world.
Companies, who are sustainable, consume very small amount of resources and constantly develop innovative measures of reducing consumption of resources in production and for the end-user, will gain the competitive advantage in their marketing mix. Likewise, they will be less vulnerable to general price fluctuations and market uncertainties on commodities such as oil, water and electricity.
For entire nations it is therefore important that government supports and encourages green growth, so that the entire nation may become leading in sustainable growth, and thereby underpin the development of the nation’s wealth, health and ability to create green products heavily demanded by the global marketplace - without depleting its natural resources
Therefore, the success of companies and entire nations is very likely dependent on how well they address the challenge of becoming sustainable and adressing the importance of green business innovation. Green sustainability is the number 1 core competence of the 21th century.