Sustainability is an important discourse for businesses. Sustainability includes fulfilling the needs of current generations without compromising the needs of future generations. It also ensures a balance between economic growth, environmental care and social well-being. Beyond profit, businesses consider business strategies that also puts people and the planet into consideration. Sustainability has elements, described as The 3Ps of Sustainability. They are People, Planet and Profit.
For people, businesses that aim to be sustainable must consider the people that directly or indirectly contribute to her growth. So, the work force, people that live around the business, suppliers etc must be put into consideration. So, making a conscious effort of employing qualified youth within the community that your business is situated in is a way of putting people into your sustainability project. For the planet, the business must consider environmentally sustainable options when faced with decision making. Decision makers must consider the harm or good their decisions make for the planet. So, switching to biodegradable products, actively investing in recycling over waste dump, conserving energy, using solar alternatives over fuel or diesel to reduce carbon emissions, disengaging in deforestation and/or investing in forestation are all ways a business considers the planet in their sustainability project. Also, profit should be considered. Usually, businesses set out to make profit; so without profit, her existence is questionable.
In the case “Green Forest”, we see how sustainability plays out in business decisions, specifically in a third world country. A number of questions were asked. They will be answered as followed:
- What did Dilenna set out to do and why?
Dilenna set out to make money and was concerned about its economic sustainability. She registered Green Forest Incorporated because of her entrepreneurial zeal and need to supplement her family’s income
- How did she plan to take care of the 3Ps of sustainability?
3Ps: People, profit and planet.
Planet: through KooKBAG and Detlev, Dilenna could save energy and reduce exposure to smoke.
People: KooKBAG was also a way to employ people through manufacturing
Profit: KooKBAG, Detlev and Save80 were profitable ventures for her. Also, she made profit through sale of Save80 stove and WonderBox at a price of 17,000.
- Describe the challenges she faced and how she could overcome them?
There were distinct segments of her target audience. It targeted rural or suburban women who relied on firewood for their cooking needs. However, certain urban women who purchased and shipped to rural areas alleviated the issue.
Also, the Sales Volume was off in the accounts from the Ibadan Warehouse. The rates and procedures were reducing the margins, but the Save80 units were still selling in low volumes.
In Ekiti, Dilenna launched the loan program in conjunction with First City Monument Bank, but the majority of clients failed to repay the loans.
The Save80 cost 17,000 dollars, and the majority of the target audience were reluctant to commit. She overcame this obstacle by investigating credit purchase options through partnerships with banks.
In order to avoid import concerns, she investigated WonderBox’s local production and manufacturing. KooKBAGS, which has been in operation since the 1970s and is both local and more effective, provided the answer. She also observed the creation of employment opportunities.
- What do you advise her to do going forward?
Although her partnership with the German NGO and the UNFCCC Regulations required the stove and WonderBox to be sold together, the KooKBags would have been an excellent alternative. Also, she should continue making efforts to obtain government input and promote the concept of environmental effect. Dilenna should also keep going with her work and continue selling the Save80 in urban areas because they are a better distribution and marketing channel because they still reach rural areas.