Contributed by Maxim Mulyadi (EO Indonesia East), the founder of Circularity Coach International, who is on a mission to help entrepreneurs achieve remarkable profit while balancing their purpose and the planet. He is also the co-founder and owner of Pelangi Water, a CPG/beverage brand in Indonesia.
Some say that economic growth and environmental protection are on opposing sides. In many ways, I once felt the same way—until I realized how far from the truth that was.
My journey to prioritizing the environment was an organic (no pun intended!) progression: growing up in Indonesia, I experienced first-hand the complex relationships between consumers, businesses, governments, and the planet. When I became a father, the gravity of the situation hit me hard. I knew what kind of world I wanted my daughter to grow up in—and it was different from how the world looked to me at the time.
I began to notice what was happening around the world. Things looked bleak, but there were glimmers of hope. At the macro level, the GDP per capita of countries like Denmark, the United Kingdom and Italy have grown all while their CO2 emissions keep decreasing. Developing countries like India and China have slowed or leveled off coal consumption as renewable energy sources become cheaper.
I thought: If governments are able to make transformative shifts in their commitments, why haven’t small and medium-sized businesses—entrepreneurs like myself—done the same?