Grooming green managers for a sustainable future
Dr. Pankaj Srivastava, Director, Indian Institute of Forest Management (IIFM) Bhopal, deliberates on creating green opportunities for young managers...
With the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by UNDP and with increasing realisation in the business world about the ecological limits of economy, demand for a new cult of managers capable of smartly managing triple bottom line while still making profit is on the rise. Increased understanding about limits to growth on a planet of finite resources has started motivating the new generation managers and companies to focus on long-term sustainability of their business models instead of short-term gains.
This shift in attitude is more due to business reasons and economic compulsions than any moral or ethical grounds. Being sustainable in long run means ensuring sustained profits and increasing longevity of the business. This is prompting business world to hire manpower having expertise in sustainable resource management strategies. This is opening new vistas for young business managers with deep understanding of sustainable business planning, sustainable supply chains and sustainability reporting practices.
The business community has started internalising the fact that recklessly liquidating natural assets, even if profitable in short run, is going to be a costly affair for long-term survival of their enterprises. The market dynamics has started educating companies to live within the tolerance limits of the planet. So, increasing number of companies have started looking at sustainability as a means of saving costs and making more profits instead of looking at it merely as charity or a CSR initiative.
Enhancing profit margins
Increasing awareness about the economic advantage of sustainability is motivating a number of big players in the business world to perceive sustainability as a smart strategy to enhance profit margins and expand business longevity. That is why more and more business houses are aligning themselves to sustainable resource utilisation practices by investment in innovation and by adoption of new technologies. Consumers and investors mood is also gradually tilting towards environment-friendly companies and their products.
The Global Risks Report published annually by the World Economic Forum has started reflecting environmental factors like climate change, extreme weather events, water crisis, energy crisis, biodiversity loss etc. as significant threats for business world and economic growth. These environmental factors are bound to affect material supply chains and service sectors alike and therefore the businesses will not be able to insulate themselves unless they adopt sustainability as an integral part of their work culture. The emerging trends will create more and more opportunities for human resource equipped with knowledge and experience of making businesses sustainable.
IIFM has been focussing on sustainability and social as well as inter-generational equity by inculcating a respect for nature through its mantra – ‘Pragatemoolamprakriti’(Nature is the root of all progress).
IIFM is a unique B-School since its inception 36 years ago consolidating the foundation of natural resource management through its various educational and training programmes. The institute’s flagship Post Graduate Diploma Programme in Forestry Management (PGDFM) has carved out a special niche in the crowd of B-Schools of the country. The institute is all set to launch a new PG Diploma Programme focussed on Sustainability Management from the year 2019. We will continue our endeavour to create a small but powerful brigade of green managers to meet the challenges of times ahead.