Opinion space about water and its challenges

8 April 2014

“Gandhi and the dreamers”


I remember that a former colleague of mine joked some years ago about the terminological problem, which she referred to as “the name of the thing”. Therefore, in the previous post “What do we mean when we talk about sustainable development” we explained the difficulty that we encountered to give the concept a name and to clarify what it is all about.

In the following entries of this blog, we will gradually break down the different stages that we can follow to introduce sustainable development into a company. However, before beginning this journey, we need to explain the value provided to the company by the broad dissemination and implementation of sustainable development.

In my opinion, no one who understands the concept doubts that it provides value. But it is considered that the value that it provides is a “soft” value, as opposed to the “hard” value contributed by other departments. Some comments by non-believers are that “it’s hot air”, “cause marketing”, “you’re dreamers” and other similar remarks.

As Gandhi said, “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win”. We have not yet reached this last phase, but we can say that sustainable development was ignored for many years in benchmark corporations. There have been plenty of laughs and fights: you just have to recall the comments by the non-believers indicated above or the prophesies which predicted the eradication of sustainable development policies as a result of the crisis in which we find ourselves.

Despite everything, many companies believe these “stories”, those which back talent, innovation, ethical integrity and responding to the citizens. Everyone remembers these companies, no one laughs at them, no one doubts. These companies, those which make sustainable development their vision (the future that they envision) and their mission (what they do to achieve it), are those that lead the world and improve society.

To repeat, we have not yet reached the last phase “… then you win”. But I think we’re getting closer. 


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