What does the word ‘Altruism’ mean to you?
It is a personal term. An individual attribute that lends itself to personal pride. And rightly so. But let’s explore a little, do some vocabulary pioneering. What about when you place the word ‘Environmental’ before the word ‘Altruism’. Then try to apply the new term to our own personal and business lives.
Wow – a whole different concept, yes?
Altruism to a single person (or a group) is a philanthropic model that for many people is as foreign a concept as warm beer, or a cold spa. To be described as altruistic is a compliment. A testament to one’s very character. That someone would give with no expectation of reward is surely a stepping stone toward self-esteem.
But now let’s add the ‘Environmental’ part – the prefix.
If giving without reciprocity engenders profit for the soul, how can that model apply to business, whose very existence relies on taking more than they give? (It’s called profit.) Of course, I am speaking of the majority of profit driven businesses – not so much the ‘not for profit’ sector which falls loosely outside this mix.
Before we get too deep here and you start looking for the ‘back button’, contemplate for a moment on what exactly ‘environmental altruism’ means.
Giving back to the environment. Offering return to Mother natures’ immortality without demanding personal gain. Put simply, protecting the environment.
Can the act of giving back to our environment by corporate and industrial Australia be considered in the same realm as individual altruism? Is it, in fact, giving without expectation of reward? To answer this you need first to identify what those ‘rewards’ comprise. Surely longevity of the clean air that we breathe, and the clarity of the pristine waterways surrounding our magnificent country is reward enough.
Environmental Altruism as a concept digs deeper than simply paying for the coffee of the person behind you in the queue. In fact for the majority of business units in Australia the concept of altruism tends to be downplayed. Environmental sustainability is a term to which many business operations strive, whether for marketing clout or to satisfy auditory requirements, but rarely is there a financial gain to environmental altruism (excepting, of course, those businesses whose function IS the environment).
Whilst the prospect of giving tends to fly in the face of the business ultimate goal of profit, I believe that environmental altruism is a term that more organisations should adopt. It can be achieved without sacrificing financial gain – if managed wisely.
Certainly it is possible to throw too much money at environmental products, risking profit for a grab at the pseudo marketing boon of ‘being green’. But utilising the skills and services of the right environmental business partner can enable the business to not only provide investors with return, but also facilitate the business claim of being environmentally altruistic.
It is possible to do both – as a corporate. Seeking an environmental site assessment from a reputable provider is a large step in the right direction. Have your site looked at from a third party to delve into HOW your business is giving to the environment. Place your hard-earned trust in someone who will tell it for what it is, then offer you cost effective options to mitigate your risk of storm water pollution.