Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Investment in sustainability aids profitability - Agree/Disagree?

This was a discussion in office today.
A person who disagrees with the statement gave this example: "I am a shoe maker in Kanpur. My toxic waste goes into the river. No expense to me. "
My answer: Yes, you're right. Then your child drinks that water and promptly catches a respiratory/stomach infection. Off to the hospital you go and spend 5000 rupees over the next few months. Then the same thing happens to another member in the family, then in the neighborhood. Then one day, someone from WHO or BBC comes to your town and blames the pollution. From there, you also start blaming the pollution without realising that you caused it, and what you saved in sustainability initiatives, you paid at the hospital.

Example 2: You are JP Industries Limited. You win all the tenders of hydel power projects in hilly states in India. You are required to reforest, but you don't. Repeatedly, the entire region is inundated in a flash flood, or in a landslide, and there goes your expensive machinery with it. OR, the flow of water reduces till the power plant is not profitable. Or even sustainable. And there are no more sites left to do hydel power work.

Moral of the story: Investment in sustainable development is not a motivation factor any more. Its a hygiene factor. We will not profit from it, but we will perish without it.

12 comments:

hitchwriter said...

Alas ! If only man would understand !

hitchwriter said...

Alas ! If only man would understand !

Ordinary Guy said...

I am hitchwriter in this!

Ordinary guy said...

i am with hitchwriter on this...

Mayz said...

well said...so true

Z said...

You're right of course, but it's always someone else's problem, isn't it? And it's not the big factory owners or the politicians who get ill or who lose their homes, but the ones who have little or nothing in the first place.

BK Chowla said...

But it is true that this happens in reality.The big boys can dump industrial waste and get away with it.In my opinion,no investment/industry is bigger than the health and wellbeing of the common man.

Peenuts said...

Well said

EXSENO said...

Good for you. You are so right.

Prashant Sree said...

Well said !!! It seemed more like a GD topic to me :) As you said, its more of a common sense approach, saving your own arse before someone comes kicking you !!

Good and succinct stories !

How do we know said...

Hi hitchwriter and ordinary guy: What can i say? you said it all too..

Hi mayz: :-)

Hi Z:yes, thats the irony of the whole thing...

Hi Mr. Chowla: If only everyone would think like you..

HI Peenuts and exseno: Thanks!

Hi Prashant: it was a kind of GD - a public debate activity. :-)

The Phosgene Kid said...

Can't pillage and loot the earth without paying later. Mankind creates most of its own problems, usually in the search for more money. Greed will be the end of us all.