Nigerian businesses should start thinking “green”!
“Businesses will play a pivotal role in meeting the sustainability challenge of 21st century” – meaning a potential global brand from Nigeria should be ready to struggle to be at the frontline in efforts to achieve sustainability.
Sustainability in the 21st century has grown to become a key tactic for modern businesses in their bid to survive in the future. I couldn’t help but pay attention to the spotlight given to sustainability in the recent issues of my favourite journal [MHD: supply change solutions]. An Australian journal designed to cater for the supply chain needs of organizations globally, highlighting the best practises and ideas and publishing articles from “supply chain and logistics” experts [the arrangement of supply change and logistics still in debate of what comes first – acknowledged].
At this point, it’s important for me to state that I acknowledge consumerism in Nigeria is too weak to drive Nigerian businesses towards sustainability, but the ambitions and goals of Nigerian businesses to operate and expand across borders will open them and drive towards the new global culture of sustainability.
Reading through the September/October 2011 issue of the journal, my favourite article titled “2020 future value chain” in details discussed sustainable business as the business as the business of the future and described sustainability as the most important tactic for any business that needs to strengthen its brand and compete favourably in the future. From the article I realized that organizations growing the sustainability direction are driven by two things, the act of “green consumerism” and targeted government policies, where emerging green consumers demand for green goods and transparency in the chain of production and governments also bend organizations in order to meet their global commitment to trans-border/global agreements on environment.
For organizations to smoothly go this direction, the journal mentioned the need for organization to start to commit to the protection of forests [e.g. running paperless offices], reduction in the release of green house gasses, need to start measuring carbon emissions and being transparent with the results, sincere consumer engagements, compliance with both local and international standards of operations amongst others.
Few months later when I got the November/December 2011 issue, to my surprise, the same article titled “2020 future value chain” was featured again with clearer recommendations for companies and super examples of how global brands has gone green. In the article, after identifying sustainability as a strong tactic of the future, the article detailed how PepsiCo China has significantly helped improve agriculture in the rural parts of China, how PepsiCo China has installed necessary infrastructure [roads, green electric supplies and co], how PepsiCo China has installed water conserving, pivot irrigators, sand dune stabilizing crops to protect rural communities from erosion caused by sand storms. The journal also detailed PepsiCo China’s very strong and productive partnership with farmers and how they are helping the farmers to adapt to climate change. The journal also highlighted a new coca-cola Hellenic recent project of designing and building energy efficient bottling plant in Northern Ireland, while Nestle has also established sound partnership with cocoa farmers in some developed countries. So many other global brands with large markets in Nigeria were discussed in the journal.
Nigeria has very large market/consumers that are powerful enough to command these beautiful projects from corporate organizations as part their responsibilities, but Nigerian consumers are too weak to shape out the right demands [their rights] and the leadership unfortunately lacks vision and is struggling with corruption, making them vulnerable to the immoral games of big corporate organizations. But the good news is the global trend is about to “pull” Nigerian business too, globalization has made it easy for organizations to tap into opportunities in foreign markets and thankfully there are “global standards for global operations”. Nigerian business from my observations are highly ambitious, driven to optimize the opportunities globalization offers, so it’s now necessary for them to blend with international practises that largely demands for responsible and transparent business operations.