by Cindy Zentle

South Africa sees green

Greener business can have a positive effect on communities

Returns on investments increase
The business of going green

Going green is no longer a swear word and many have embraced it as a new 'law'.

Adopting a cleaner lifestyle is not just an idealism of extreme environmentalists or something most commonly practiced among wealthier demographics. 

The twenty-first century has seen the drastic increase of our dependency on the mobile internet and Cape Town especially has seen an increase in entrepreneurs.

Now is the time to think about exactly how we buy our goods, services and resources and how we use and dispose of these.

Most corporate and private entities need to set aside resources to focus on alternative corporate structures and financial systems.

They need to start supporting the creation and scale-up of business models that are in line with the needs of their surrounding communities.

Technology needs a 'spring clean' on the supply side and now is the time to start looking at the other end of the sustainability spectrum.

Innovation should support individuals and communities to utilise local resources and drive cleaner lifestyle from the ground up.

Investment into communities should stem from promising social ventures which will have a tangible effect on positive social outcomes while delivering financial returns.

Examples of the types of opportunities include collaborative consumption models, group buying initiatives, crowd funding platforms, community participation and ownership models, domestic or community generation projects, micro-agriculture systems.

Organisations should invest in projects that posses an impact on supporting an ageing population; the attainment, employability and wellbeing of children and young people; and the social and environmental sustainability of communities.

Community sustainability is probably the hardest to define and to measure, not least because people have varying definitions of both terms but also because there is a multitude of possible outcome measures.

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