Daily CSR
Daily CSR

Daily CSR
Daily news about corporate social responsibility, ethics and sustainability

‘Consumer-Driven’ Business Model For Growth Needs To Be Bridled Under ‘Ecological Limits’


Natural resources are limited, while the population boom setting the growing demand that the business industry strives to keep up, is an added pressure on the environment.

Dailycsr.com – 24 June 2017 – Brian Collett reported the manufacturing units will mostly use three times more “natural resources” while increasing their GDP four time by the year of 2050. It is scary, points out Collet, to see this booming industry production scales which is in direct proportion with the demand generated by world population, whereas the same is “expected to swell from seven billion to nine billion in three decades”.
The above mentioned statistics come from one of the reports’ of “the World Resources Institute”. The latter is a NGO for “global sustainability research” that has its headquarters in Washington DC. The WRI predicted the growth and warned at the same time:
“The problem is that the planet’s natural systems and finite resources cannot keep up.”
It is only if the businesses change their activities’ nature can the environmental stress be “soften”, claimed WRI. As per the WRI’s Business Centre’s Global Director, Kevin Moss:
“Business models that rely on unchecked consumption and unlimited resources cannot last. They will be replaced by better models that deliver more value with the resources available.”
One of the “first suggestions” coming from the institute is that businesses need to carry out an assessment of their “dependency on natural resources”, while taking note of the “limits” imposed on the growth of respective business, which should then be followed up by taking the “lead” for coming up with solutions in the confidence of the “vital stakeholders”. In short, the goal is to seek a business transformation model which will enable them to “thrive in a resource-constrained environment”.
Although, the recommendations provide in the report are somewhat generic, additionally there is illustration that takes the example of the fashion sector and begins by “restating the problem”. On an average, the U.S. households spend six times more in comparison to “emerging economies such as Brazil”. It is between the years of 2000 to 2014 that one observes this sixty percent of increment in the U.S. consumers’ spending behaviour for clothing. As a result, “the clothes are now kept half as long”.
In fact, Brian Collett added:
“Some fashion houses observe up to 100 micro seasons in a year, and the garment changes create ‘an enormous amount of waste’.
“The global apparel industry, worth up to $3tn (£2.4tn, €2.8tn) a year, accounts for 10 per cent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. Every year it uses 1.33 trillion gallons of water for dyeing and sends up to 144 billion square yards of fabric scraps to landfill”.
Therefore, the institute holds the fashion industry exemplary of “business growth driven by unchecked consumption” that results in unsustainability. However, the report also highlights that is clothes were “manufactured to last longer” it would bring down the impact on the environment and at same time “stimulate” more jobs.
Worn Wear is a “modest programme” used in Patagonia, wherein forty five people are employed to do “40,000 repairs annually”. It is an attempt to “minimising” the “use of natural resources”. On the other hand, Zady, based out of New York, an “e-commerce company”, has a range of T-shirts to offer that are made by “environmentally acceptable suppliers” who use “US-grown organic cotton”. The “consumer-driven growth” model of business need to be considered within “ecological limits”, says the institution.
However, most companies are still to take action in this field, although in this fight against climate change over “200 multinational companies have set greenhouse gas reduction targets”, thus offering a little bit of hope nonetheless.