Sanjeev Mansotra Provides 4 Ways that Businesses in Africa Can Benefit from Switching to Renewable and Recyclable Resources
Extreme weather triggered by climate change and rampant, in some cases fatal levels of pollution are threatening to do more than diminish core economic growth. In some developing regions in Africa, where one in four people are undernourished, the situation is life-threatening. For example:
- Pollution in the river Volta has become so widespread and toxic, that half of the population of Nigeria lacks access to clean water.
- The glaciers atop Mount Kilimanjaro that function as an essential water tower are drying up, and according to research by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 82 percent of the ice that capped the mountain in 1912 is now gone.
- Climate change is triggering and exacerbating extreme weather events and patterns, such as the drought in 2011–2012 that ravaged East Africa, and the flood in 2000 that caused nearly 1000 deaths in Mozambique and displaced nearly 350,000 people. What’s more, according to Oxfam today over 12 million people across Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia are in dire need of food due to reduced crop yields and livestock productivity resulting from drought, heat stress and flooding.
Yet despite the alarming and catastrophic effect of climate change and pollution in Africa and elsewhere across the planet, there are core actions that all stakeholders can take — including and especially businesses — to be part of the environmental solution, rather than unintentionally yet invariably worsen the crisis.
According to seasoned entrepreneur Sanjeev Mansotra, here are four core ways that businesses in Africa and around the planet can benefit — and truly be part of the solution — by switching to renewable energy sources like clean and abundant solar power, and wherever feasible using recyclable resources such as glass, paper, cardboard, metal, plastic, tires, textiles, batteries, and electronics:
Dramatically and Sustainably Lower Environmental Impact
By far, the most important business benefit of switching to renewable energy and recyclable resources is a dramatic and sustainable reduction in environmental impact and carbon footprint. For example, a small business that chooses a clean source of energy like solar panels can eliminate the same amount of carbon emissions that would result from burning approximately 5,000 pounds of coal per year. Adds Sanjeev Mansotra: “Naturally, the reduction for a mid-sized organization or large enterprise would be far greater”.
Significantly Reduce Energy Costs
Businesses that switch to renewable energy and recyclable resources do not just make the planet greener — they also boost their bottom line and competitive advantage by significantly reducing ongoing energy costs. At the same time, the cost of generating renewable energy like solar is far more stable than gas, oil and electricity prices, which are unpredictable and invariably rise over time.
Generate More Customers, Sales and Revenues
Today’s customers are leaning towards businesses that demonstrate environmental leadership — and away from those that are unable or unwilling to be part of the solution. For example:
- The Conference Board Global Consumer Confidence Survey found that 81 percent of customers believe strongly that companies should help improve the environment.
- Research by the Shelton Group found that 50 percent of customers evaluate a company’s environmental reputation as they make vendor and product choices.
- Research by Unilever found that 33 percent of customers purchase goods and services from brands who they feel are doing environmental good.
Ultimately, this means the conventional perception in the business community that “going green” is cost prohibitive is a myth. On the contrary, Sanjeev Mansotra notes that businesses that make a core, concerted, authentic and sustained commitment to using renewable energy and recyclable resources elevate in their respective industries and marketplaces, and position themselves to onboard profitable, loyal customers.
Get Ahead of the Curve — Rather than Fall Behind the Times
Given the dire situation in Africa’s developing regions, as well as other parts of the planet, it is a foregone conclusion that in the future renewable energy and recyclable resources will be core staples on the business landscape. Switching now instead of later gives businesses vital experience and know-how in the green tech space, which they can productively and profitably leverage for decades to come. Adds Sanjeev Mansotra: “Conversely, businesses that neglect to act, or that only make superficial and essentially meaningless changes, will find themselves on the outside looking in and racing to catch up”.
The Bottom Line
Anyone who still believes that climate change and fatal levels of pollution are overblown media hype, or scare tactics used to raise money by NGOs, are on the wrong side of the facts, and indeed, on the wrong side of history — and a visit to developing regions in Africa or elsewhere around the planet will instantly dispel these egregious misunderstandings. The problems are real, and the impact is both life-altering and life-threatening. Obviously, governments have a critical role to play in turning the tide. However, businesses, can be a core part of the solution; which not only benefits the countries and communities, but indeed, as highlighted by Sanjeev Mansotra, potentially benefits and enriches the businesses themselves.