More and more children are being born all over the planet. Over just a few centuries, we have grown from a few hundred million to close to 8 billion today. And experts project the population will reach 9-10 billion before it will stabilise or decrease in about 30 years.
The biggest environmental challenges
With the many people on Earth, there is more pressure on Earth and in extension also more global challenges, such as:
- the extinction of animal and plant species (also known as biodiversity)
- climate change and global warming
- lack of natural resources
- lack of clean drinking water
This is reinforced by the fact that we are fortunately getting better and on average becoming more affluent. In doing so, however, we are also increasing our material consumption.
The biggest social challenges
The fact that we are so many people on Earth also poses challenges among us humans. The main social challenges are:
- very unequal distribution of wealth
- discrimination against people
This list – as well as many other problems – is made up of what is called ‘global challenges’ because they cross borders and affect the quality of life of all people today and many more in the future.
Who can solve the challenges?
There is a consensus that the global challenges are real and that they pose a serious threat to the continued existence of humanity – or at least a threat to the continuation of our lifestyles and their benefits in the future. Because of this, the focus on finding solutions to global challenges is strong and increasing.
A society can be described with the following elements:
- authorities and politicians
- civil society
There is a consensus that all three parties are part of the solution.
Politicians set new legal requirements and guidelines, and the authorities implement these legal requirements.
Civil society comes up with new ideas, implements new solutions and keeps regulators and businesses in check so they act sensibly.
Finally, companies behave socially responsibly to minimise their contributions to global challenges (e.g., less pollution – doing less bad). At best, they help to solve global challenges (doing good). In this way, a shared responsibility arises to meet the challenges we are currently facing.
It is Sustainor’s very firm position that companies exist to fulfil the company’s own purpose, which is typically to make money. We believe that the business of business is business, as Milton Friedman said in 1970. Fortunately, there are plenty of opportunities to make money from behaving socially. Yes, as time goes on there will no longer be room for companies that do not take on basic social responsibility.
Want to learn more about how you can use global challenges to make more money for your business?