Because the decisions we make as consumers impact on our society and our planet, it's important that they’re sustainable and respect human rights and the environment. What we do now will have an effect in the future. We're part of the change to achieve an ethical and responsible economy.
You’re in a shop, and before you are two items. After reading their labels, you decide to take the one that's made from recycled materials because it’s more eco-friendly. What you've just made is a sustainable decision because it’s mindful of the environment.
What is sustainable economics?
Sustainable economics promotes growth, development and equal opportunity in society, without harming the planet. It encourages recycling, renewable energy (wind, solar and hydro power), better use of natural resources, fair access to work and quality employment.
A sustainable economy can only work if short-to-long-term measures to protect the environment are adopted in finance, businesses and manufacturing. You can find out more about sustainable development in this article (in Spanish) by Openbank.
How can we develop a more sustainable society?
If we want to aid the transition towards a more sustainable society, we must commit to make more eco-friendly decisions about the goods and services we buy and the transport we take.
It’s important that companies in the public and private sectors also take environmental and social measures. Businesses and governments must strive to manage natural resources better in order to protect the environment for future generations.
What sustainable options are there?
To be more responsible towards the planet, we must change how we consume, since natural resources are finite. Using them wisely will reduce harm to the environment; it's a key pledge several organizations have been making.
Companies have several mechanisms to measure the ecological footprint of their operations and recognize areas of improvement. They might reduce their consumption of, say, energy; or they might opt for offsetting through such measures as funding reforestation projects.
It is also important that companies and people make the transition to a green economy together. More banks are offering customers “green finance”: sustainable financial products based on environmental, social and governance criteria. Popular products include low-rate mortgages for environmentally-certified homes, green investment funds, electric car loans and financing for solar panels.
Textile companies have been making clothes and footwear from ecological or recycled fabrics in local workshops.
The auto industry is also applying sustainable economics by increasing cars’ useful lives, optimizing manufacturing and favouring electric or hybrid models.
Why are we making more sustainable decisions?
Sustainable decision-making is the job of not only governments and institutions, but also broader society. More consumers are adopting ethical, less polluting lifestyles and, thus, are seeking out companies that share their values.
Businesses are not oblivious to this shift in behaviour and are designing products and services based on consumers’ awareness and interests. This is behavioural economics, a branch of psychology that can tell us how sustainability influences consumers’ decision-making.
People choosing more eco-friendly and socially responsible goods and services feel an obligation towards the planet and, thus, tend to do other sustainable things every day, like recycling or buying ethical products. The new generations are most aware of how important forming part of the change is, and are choosing to invest in, buy from and work in companies that respect the planet and human rights.
What about your sustainable decisions? For more reasons, visit this article (in Spanish) by Finanzas para Mortales (Finance for Mortals).