Potential for Sustainability on the Prairies
There is a lot of potential for increasing sustainability in Manitoba. Sustainable business practices can improve their growth and profits. To do this, businesses can look for efficiencies in their supply chain. Businesses can adapt to customers changing preferences and change their business model to reflect a desire for improved sustainability. Businesses can invest in renewable energy sources and enforce codes of conduct and policies on social and environmental issues. To improve growth and performance, businesses can communicate this by reporting their sustainable initiatives and practices in a sustainability report. These are ambitious and practical ideas that lead to improving the credibility of the business.
By becoming involved in sustainability the business will be at the leading edge of innovations to create a sustainable future for all. These initiatives also must incorporate social and economic issues as well as environmental concerns. Sustainability involves looking at the big picture with systems-based solutions. These initiatives also must involve the collaboration and knowledge of various stakeholders as well as local Indigenous groups, utilizing Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Wisdom (TEKW). The involvement of Indigenous groups in collaboration also leads to reconciliation.
The innovations embrace new ideas and can lead to lasting change. All the initiatives and innovations among various parties involve a commitment to learning and growth. Sustainability and the circular economy allow society to live within its means or planetary boundaries. The circular economy is a way of improving resource efficiency which will in turn lead to using less resources over time. This involves a shift in consumer behaviour and ideas. The waste from one business could be utilized by another business with mutual benefits. Language is powerful in how we discuss things, and it is important to keep products and materials in use.
With the circular economy, the idea is to do good, rather than less bad. The circular economy welcomes business opportunities and innovations. With design at the beginning of a business model to allow to offset at the product and systems levels. There are also benefits to creation of jobs in manufacture and repair sectors. This involves storytelling and policies to support the implementation. With product and services design involving circular economy ideas, the business can save money as well as energy and CO2 emissions.
We need to look at local initiatives, production, and transportation with bottom-up ideas. We are entering the UN decade of ecological restoration. Herman E. Daly notes that the economy is a wholly owned subsidiary of the environment. A sustainable business can utilize the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Beginning with a couple SDGs, the business can improve those issues then add more SDGs to their business plan. In doing so, the business will find that improvement in one area improves the others. This involves a cradle-to-cradle view, rather than a cradle-to-grave viewpoint. It is important to see waste as a resource.
Education is key to this. Local solutions and innovation can lead to improvements in sustainability. Small steps begin and can grow into larger initiatives. It is important to design out waste and pollution, keep products and materials in use, and regenerate natural systems. This would involve many cascading benefits to the social, economic, and ecological systems. Sustainability involves a balance between efficiency and resilience coming from diversity and interconnectivity. By design, the circular economy is regenerative, accessible, and abundant.
Here at Prairie Circular Economy, we can help you become a leader in your community. Contact us for a free discovery call and we can work together.