* By Heverton Lacerda
The term sustainability, created even before the debate about the climate crisis heated up, has been subverted for purposes other than environmental ones. In the beginning, in the second half of the last century, the connection with the ecological theme was so evident that it was no longer pronounced “environmental sustainability”, abbreviating it to “sustainability”, however, keeping the same meaning. The classic definition of the term, related to the sustainable use of natural resources, pointed to the strategy of “meeting the needs of the present generation without affecting the possibility of future generations to meet theirs”. In other words, the link with environmental protection is umbilical, because without it nothing is truly sustainable.
Companies, with all right, started to adopt the term. However, care must be taken so that the sustainability announced in speeches and advertising maintains the original intention of preserving the environment and caring about social issues. It is not enough just to link companies or products to the image of environmental sustainability in order to sell more. That's not honest. It is logical that companies aim at profits, but it is worth remembering that, when we are talking about the climate crisis, the economic is not the main social value. Thus, the need to use creativity to undertake, protecting the source of all resources: the Earth, grows.
Businesses that use marketing to camouflage anti-ecological production processes are practicing “green makeup”, a process that has become known as “greenwashing”. In addition to environmental risks, this can tarnish the company's reputation. In the business sphere, already reflected in the capital market, the adoption of ESG, an acronym for environmental, social and governance issues, is already part of the day-to-day of some companies.
It is necessary to enforce and put these concepts into practice because, in the end, what matters is the sustainability of the life of all species that coexist in a unique and balanced global system.
* Journalist, specialist in Human Sciences and president of Agapan
Published in the newspaper Zero Hora on September 26, 2022
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