Eco-Entrepreneurship: Steering the world towards responsible living
What comes to one’s mind while thinking of an entrepreneur -- founder of a large enterprise? A successful businessman? Or simply, someone driven purely by the profit motive? That is because we have only been focusing on professional and economic growth all along.
We opted for business models focusing only on revenue and bottomline without taking into consideration the adverse impact on the environment. This, in turn, has resulted in serious repercussions such as a significant increase in carbon footprint, climate change, forest wildfires erupting across the world, earthquakes and other calamities.
A report issued by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation reflected how the growth rate of gross state domestic product (GSDP) during 2005-15 for almost all the states was around 7-8 percent; 11 states registered a decline in their natural capital and contributed in the degradation of the natural resources and wealth of those states. India lost a significant portion of its natural resources to economic growth.
All this while, we had been subjecting our planet and its green cover to technological reforms and economic growth. But what if we devised a way to have both, financial and economic growth along with preserving our environment?
People, especially entrepreneurs, have started thinking on lines of sustainability as they contemplate greener ways to develop their businesses and achieving success at the same time. This reform in the business model and thoughts around implementing green ideas of running an enterprise gave rise to Eco-entrepreneurship.
Eco-entrepreneurship and where does it fit in
Eco-entrepreneurship, environmental entrepreneurship or ecopreneurship, focuses on resolving environmental issues through products, services, and/or educational resources.
Eco-entrepreneurship, also known as Green Manufacturing, stems from the conviction of catering to the planet while establishing new ventures that change the face of the professional sector for the better. Opting for sustainable ways and greener practices not only enables businesses to incorporate technology that work on the principle of sustainability, but also helps in increasing the profitability of the organisation.
The ever-expanding horizons of eco-friendly entrepreneurship
People's attention started shifting to environmental concerns after the initiation of the modern environmental campaign in 1970 when the world celebrated its first Earth Day.
Sustainability has been seeing an upward-spiral, helping entrepreneurs to instil a culture of green practices. Entrepreneurs are launching services and products to minimise the carbon footprint, greenhouse gases, and such other concerns. With the increasing awareness among people and their conscience playing a significant role, the world is beginning to appreciate the need to adopt eco-friendly practices.
Eco-entrepreneurship is enabling entrepreneurs to harness the power of green practices to create a difference. The solutions offered by the eco-business owners are helping in aligning the businesses for sustainable development, making eco-entrepreneurship de rigueur.
Eco-entrepreneurship in India
Our country is becoming aware of the fallouts of consumerist behaviour of owning more vehicles than needed, exploiting natural resources and not giving them time to replenish, and especially the throwaway culture -- where, instead of finding sustainable ways to recycle and reuse, we prefer dumping things -- is taking its toll on the planet.
Therefore, India has made a conscious call of changing the traditional, environmentally-harmful practices and replacing them with schemes that encourage one to preserve the planet.
The country is gradually becoming the hub of eco-entrepreneurs where various brands take up specific causes as their responsibility to support eco-innovation and best practices.
With states such as Maharashtra, Telangana, Himachal Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu banning plastics and focusing on more sustainable ways, India is bringing much needed reforms in its lifestyle choices. Several well-known names are introducing eco-friendly sanitary products, masks, and services to eliminate plastic while also replacing them with recycled products.
As more and more states instil stringent norms against plastic and other unsustainable products, the country is also witnessing an uptick in various green ventures. There are some brands that are working on innovative packaging solutions too.
For instance, an eco-initiative in Assam is making use of bamboo to make eco-friendly water bottles. There is also a home-grown brand that has introduced India’s first natural spring water beverage packaged in recyclable aluminium cans.
People are consciously adopting eco-friendly materials such as bamboo, aluminium, straw bale, etc. to make bags, cutlery, packaging solutions, building material, and a host of other applications.
Eco-entrepreneurship is helping people become responsible professionals while also ingraining sustainable living as a new normal. It is the key to make this world a better place as Mike Berners-Lee aptly mentioned in his handbook, “There is no Planet B”.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)