Ecological Business is a concept of marketing where companies use a holistic approach to strengthen their environmental performance, while improving customer satisfaction and corporate performance. The main objective is to offer structural, scientific, economic and marketing support for ecological enterprises by enabling social interaction and networking and by presenting the ecological issue in an inventive and appealing way to the public. This helps to create awareness and build debate about the environment and it also helps to position the organisation as a leader in the environment. It is an important concept that is beginning to take shape in both the corporate and community sectors.
One of the main drivers behind this concept is the need to demonstrate a commitment to sustainable environmental management. The need for such engagement is highlighted by scientific research that indicates that current understanding of and concerns about the environment may not adequately address some fundamental issues, such as the source of pollution or degradation of the planet’s resources. It is essential that we increase our ability to quantify and predict changes in the environment and that we are able to link the quality and quantity of our input to the world around us. Ecological business therefore attempts to help provide scientific justification and credibility for a company’s actions in relation to sustainable environmental management. The advantages of this approach are that it provides a framework within which to develop the strategies of the company, it generates interest and discussion about environmental issues, it provides a forum through which to bring together different stakeholder groups, it develops the skills and knowledge base required to improve the management of the ecological system and it provides a forum through which to enhance the company’s capacity to deliver sustainable outcomes.
There are many ways in which companies can adopt an ecologically responsible marketing strategy. These include using strategies such as renewable technologies, reuse and recycle, fair trade and community sustainability, direct action and direct delivery. Recycling and reusing offers an array of benefits for both the environment and the company. This concept is central to ecological business because it builds on a basic principle of ‘green’ marketing – one that requires companies to take responsibility for their own carbon footprint and actively look to reduce it.
Another important aspect of ecological entrepreneurship is the company’s social responsibility and commitment to sustainability. As part of the strategy, an organisation will want to look at the impacts of their activities on natural systems and how those impacts are being managed. A focus on the environment is also an important aspect of social responsibility and should not be relegated to a second place. For some, sustainability takes the back seat to other priorities such as profit, while for others it is a fundamental principle. However, regardless of whether or not social responsibility is prioritised, ecological entrepreneurship will require that the companies it represents support and promote programmes aimed at ensuring the maintenance of ecological systems and landscapes.
One company that has made significant contributions to the field of environmental sustainability is Chobani. The company manufactures water tanks and water purification systems, and one of its most important products is the Chobani Purely Yours water filter. This is part of the company’s efforts to promote environmental sustainability, and in fact, it was an initiative undertaken by Chobani with the Swiss Environmental Protection Agency (EEP), who specialise in creating national programmes to protect the environment. As part of the programme, the company ensured that all of its tanks were constructed from lead-free materials. It also went to great lengths to make sure that the water in its tanks was only coming from natural water sources, and not from reservoirs and other sources that contain lead.
Ecological Entrepreneurs will need to continue to support scientific research so that the general population is better informed about the natural world that we live in. However, by making available products such as the Chobani Purely Yours water filter, they are also helping to create a more sustainable environment for future generations. In addition, the increased use of such products will help to ensure that there is a growing concern about environmental impact, and this will in turn lead to greater support for further scientific research.