Dutch Environmental Policy expert, Hans van Zigst, recently spoke on Societal Responsibility, specifically that society has an obligation to change behavior, the way we produce and the way we consume goods. This theme appears timely as we approach Earth Day on April 22, a date designated to demonstrate our commitment to environmental protection and sustainability.
If you are reading this blog, the assumption is that you are a follower of the cleantech space. By definition, while you expect to benefit from market opportunities and financial upside derived from clean technologies, you are also intent to provide ecological solutions primarily attributed to human impact on the earth.
The question is: as we build and/or invest in the next solar, EV or biofuels technology invention, are we acting as role models for the industry we represent? We’re betting on or promoting energy savings and efficiency, reduction of gas emissions and less reliance on foreign oil, but is our everyday behavior reflective of our professional pursuits? Driving a hybrid or swimming in a solar-powered pool is a beginning but not an end.
So with Earth Day approaching, we could start by asking ourselves:
o Am I actively supporting regulatory policy efforts that will help encourage socially responsible behavior? Can I play a role in helping craft policies that make sense to the general population?
o Does my household diligently recycle and compost? If my area doesn’t have composting facilities, have I pursued solutions?
o Is minimizing gas consumption and emissions a top priority in the selection of my vehicles? Is walking, cycling or public transportation available?
o Do I buy compostable consumables and organic food and textiles when options are available?
o Do I consider the environmental consequences before printing reams of paper, purchasing plastic water bottles, or accepting plastic bags at the checkout?
o Am I setting a good example for my children to protect and promote a healthier environment?
Signs that entrepreneurs and investors are starting to materially benefit from cleantech opportunities are evidence that the industry is sustainable. Earth Day is a reminder that preserving healthy ecosystems and environments are an integral part of sustainability. We should show our support for cleantech by making behavioral decisions for all the right reasons and not just some of them.
Let’s celebrate Earth Day!