The Overarching Philosophy of the Foundation: Three Pillars of the Environmental Edifice
The Foundation’s overall edifice is built on three conceptual pillars that can bring about a positive change in global environmental standards individually and collectively. These pillars are: the people, business executives, and the Government. However, for each of these entities to be effective, a motivational mechanism must be in place that creates an impetus and movement in the direction of environmental sustainability. The Foundation projects that better health & wellness of their own health could serve as the self-propelling motivational mechanism for people; higher profits would serve that purpose for business executives; and increasingly satisfied people (the voting population) experiencing better health and wellness stemming from environmental improvement would constitute the desired motivational vehicle for Government. The Foundation’s entire plan of action is constructed around this inbuilt self-propelling mechanisms for each entity. A brief explanation follows:
A significant amount of misery in the world exists due to the issues related to poor human health that germinate from excessive pollution in the air and water. The Foundation believes that if the people could be made aware of the quantitative impact of their habits and actions on the environmental pollution and its relationship with their well-being and health, they will change their behavior for good. This is especially true for India. The Foundation has developed a list of actions (a constantly evolving document) in preparation of launching awareness movement using the “low hanging fruits” in this regard. The dedicated people who work for the Foundation would each serve as one of the thousands of lights and illuminate people in their friendly ambit to bring about a universal change in habits and practices rather quickly. The progress then continues based on studies and analyses of ongoing efforts and lessons from other societies and economies and taking them to people through appropriate channels.
There are hundreds of business models, mostly in developed economies at this time, that show that the notion that “environmentally improved products and services cause erosion of business profits” is rapidly becoming defunct and obsolete. Indeed, the TRIPLE BOTTOM LINE (Profit + Planet + People) business strategies formulated in the wake of financial and economic debacle of 2007 have shown that the nexus between pro-environment and pro-people strategies and business profits is a synergistic one that also yields long-term reputational dividends. The Foundation believes that a judicious transfer of the strategic intelligence embedded in these models; thoughtfully augmented by new, customized, innovative enviro-strategic models for businesses in India have the potential to change the business landscape in structural ways that would benefit consumers (through better health) and businesses (through higher profits) simultaneously and synergistically. According to one estimate, there is 800 trillion rupees capital opportunity in India for investing in environmentally improved products and services that could potentially yield lucrative profits hitherto unseen.
Numerous studies in India and elsewhere have shown that a small investment in environmental improvement leverages not only a much-improved quality of life through improved health and wellness, it saves more than commensurate amount in future health expenditures. Many studies have inferred that the ratio of prevention to cure expenditures is about 1:6, and the wellness obtained from improved environment is priceless and forever. Businesses are quite often prone to compromise with the environmentally sound decisions as they fear [wrongly; due to their myopic vision and flawed strategies] loss of profits. People, similarly, take an easy way out as the environmentally right way to do a specific task is is expensive or hard. The Government can play a huge “enabler” role by supporting people’s and businesses’ efforts through appropriate regulations and resources. Chalking out policies that incentivize or facilitate use of low-energy-consumption devices falls squarely within the Government arena though businesses can benefit with design of commensurate products. This is where the Foundation can play a powerful role in providing data, analyses and research to recommend environmentally effective policies with regards to products, services, operations, policies, and strategies.
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