Driving Change

Over recent years, we have undoubtedly seen growing concerns towards the planet's major environmental issues. However, it can be hard to quantify the rate at which this concern is growing or pinpoint what factors will drive considerable change. As stewards of this planet, we should all feel individually responsible for how our actions affect the environment. Our global economic activities have created these environmental issues, so in turn, they are the solution. There are many driving factors in the economy that will help influence positive change and produce notable milestones towards sustainability. So who holds the power to create change and which groups are the most influential?

Consumers:

Each of us has the power to enact change through our consumer habits--by voting with our wallets. Ultimately, consumers control the fates of corporations. Companies will offer products and services in direct response to consumer demand. As environmental concerns become more prominent, we would hope to see a sustainable shift in consumer decisions.

Investors:

Investors debatably influence the economy more than any other group. With a total of about 15 trillion dollars invested in the US market alone, investors collectively hold immense power. By directing investment support towards companies who are innovative and environmentally conscious, we will begin to see positive changes taking place.

Government:

Fiscal policy determines how the government influences the economy. Through appropriate spending, regulation, and taxation, great change can take place. Spending on renewable energy sources, regulation through the EPA and taxation on carbon emission are effective policies already in action. These policies collectively stand to create great opportunity for sustainably focused companies.

Business:

Corporate leaders constantly adapt to changes in the economic world. Consumer demand, investment, and government each influence decisions made by businesses. Increasingly, environmental considerations are some of the biggest challenges faced by companies today. The implementation of a viable and cost-effective sustainable strategy can help companies lower costs, cut litigation and compliance risks, decrease their environmental impact, and meet the evolving demand for innovative and sustainable products and services.