Eco-preneurship refers to the environmental entrepreneurship who are poised towards coming up with sustainable business ideas (Libecap, 2009, p.34). EcoPreneurs indeed identify environmental challenges and therefore develop environmental products and services which will aid in solving both the business and environmental challenges by providing a sustainable solution. The main competitive advantage for Eco-preneurship businesses is the fact that they are able to utilize sustainable options in energy, waste management and other spectra of the ecosystem.
Identification of the problem
It is indeed emerging that most of the business ventures today are only interested in profits and growth without due concern on positive environmental impacts. It is this problem that gives rise to a set of sustainable business solutions provided by the EcoPreneurs. This paper shall seek to enlist the benefits of an eco-preneurship business venture.
Statement of Purpose
Eco-preneurship makes companies more environmentally responsible for their actions. In the recent past, there has been an outcry over the carbon emission menace. Several conferences have yielded the Kyoto Protocol which aims at making industries more environment sensitive in their production and general operation.
There are various principles that hold eco-preneurship business ventures towards their sustainable business solutions. These principles are aimed at reducing energy waste as well as carbon emission. Businesses must recognize the fact that they owe a responsibility to the environment in which they operate in and must therefore develop sustainable solutions towards tackling problems related to waste management, energy needs, carbon emission, hazardous chemical usage as well as air pollution.
What is imperative to consider is the fact that most of the eco-preneurship business ventures derive many benefits as a result of their eco-friendly business operations. This paper succinctly looks into the benefits that eco-preneurship has both to itself and the larger environment in which it operates.
As earlier mentioned, eco-preneurship refers to environmental entrepreneurship. Eco-preneurship usually has a competitive advantage that they draw from being environmentally sensitive. Indeed, there are many benefits that the eco-preneurship business ventures enjoy.
Isaak (1999, p.11) reveals that eco-preneurship enjoys a good reputation due to their initiatives towards maintaining a sustainable environment. This advantage gives eco-preneurships a competitive advantage against competitors hence these companies are able to amass a large number of customers, both existing and new customers. With the large number of customers among the eco-preneurship ventures, there will be increased sales volumes which translate into profitable business ventures.
Eco-preneurship ensures that carbon emissions are reduced to negligible levels. Carbon emission is the main concern of every major company in the world today. Following the Kyoto Protocol, companies are required to be more vigilant in reducing their carbon emission. Since eco-preneurship is poised towards providing sustainable environmental solutions, reducing carbon emission has been at their foresight. Eco-preneurships therefore reduce carbon emission through reduced transportation. These companies are able to introduce environmentally sound solutions towards reducing transportation by utilizing the locally available material for their production lines hence reducing the need to purchase such items from a distant location.
According to Schaltegger and Wagner (2006, p.47), the environment is full of eco-opportunities which would provide a just in time solution to the problems that the environment encounters on a day-to-day basis. For instance, considering McDonalds, a large hamburger restaurant found in most parts of the world; such a company could utilize locally supplied chicken and other food stuffs that it requires in its production process. Moreover, this will lead to the growth of small and medium enterprises in the countries of operation. Therefore, the eco-preneurship will be able to support sustainable environmentally sound solutions and effectively reducing the carbon emission menace. Alternatively, using solar or wind energy also helps reduce the carbon emission. Most eco-preneurships make use of these energy sources for the benefit of their environment.
On the other hand, eco-preneurship is able to reduce the amount of hazardous chemical usage. Many eco-preneurships usually make use of chemicals that are not harmful to the environment. Chemical use within companies usually finds its way into the environment, either through seepage or intentionally (Folmer & Tietenberg, 2005, p.114). These chemicals cause huge environmental damage to crops and living organisms. Eco-preneurships therefore reduce the amount of hazardous chemical usage. Chemicals that are used within the eco-preneurship business ventures should be tested and properly handled so as to reduce the chances of releasing them into the environment.
Energy and resource efficiency is another benefit that the eco-preneurships have. Eco-preneurships usually seek sustainable energy use in order to ensure that there is limited energy loss during the production of goods and services. The preserved energy is thus channeled towards meeting other energy requirements within the venture.
A good example of efficient energy use by the eco-preneurships, is the use of solar and wind powers. These are sustainable and renewable energy resources which are likely to lead to reduced carbon emission. These sources of energy are usually considered to be clean. The advantage of this is that, the eco-preneurship will incur fewer costs in their energy use since they will have depended on sustainable and renewable energy sources. Saving is a major advantage and benefit that eco-preneurships derive from their sustainable environmental solutions and should therefore uphold these values (Isaak, 1998, p.16).
In addition, eco-preneurship ensures that there is an effective waste management system in place so that any wastes that emanate from the business venture is indeed managed properly, hence reducing the amount of environmental pollution. Industrial waste is a headache to most of the businesses. Eco-preneurship therefore provides a sustainable solution towards this dilemma. As such, eco-preneurships are largely competitive due to the fact that they introduce sustainable waste management systems which effectively deal with the environmental challenges pertaining to waste management (Schaper, 2005, p.63).
An example of a waste management system that the eco-preneurship puts in place is found in the sugarcane factories. The bargase which is the waste obtained from crushing the sugarcane is used to produce energy. The bargase is burned in chambers that produce energy that is later channeled towards turning turbines. The turbines produce electricity cheaply for use within the company. Some of the sugarcane waste is also decomposed and used as manure by the farmers. Hence, there is limited waste in eco-preneurship.
Both solid and liquid wastes are effectively managed in the eco-preneurships. There is a well managed system that ensures that solid wastes are treated first before being released into the environment. Hence, eco-preneurships are environmentally sensitive thus garnering support for such companies among world leaders.
Eco-preneurship makes efficient use of water resources. Water is increasingly becoming scarce in the dynamic weather climate that we continue to experience. Therefore, this calls for efficient use of water. Eco-preneurships are beneficial since they put in place systems that ensure that there is efficient use of water resources. For example, in the sugarcane factory, water that is used to clean the factory is channeled towards irrigating the crops hence ensuring limited water wastage.
In addition, eco-preneurships ensure that there is less air pollution. This is because of the sustainable and renewable energy that the companies use. For instance, solar and wind power are clean energy sources thus less air pollution to the environment. This is beneficial to the eco-preneurships since they are likely to gain international recognition that will boost their image internationally hence the company will witness an increase in customer volumes (Libecap, 2009, p.28). The large pool of customers will reciprocate to high sales volume and therefore more profitability for the eco-preneurships.
Eco-preneurships are socially responsible since they promote sustainable environmental solutions and as such are revered as being socially sensitive. The eco-preneurships through their environmental awareness creation are likely to increase opportunities that are available for the employment of various personnel. These personnel will be deployed in the environment department so as to support the core values of the eco-preneurships.
Folmer and Tietenberg (2005, p.34) argue that the alternative use of energy solutions is likely to save the company financial resources that will be used in employing more staff to ensure a sustainable business environment. Many times, the Eco-preneurships will be concerned with finding better ways of managing the environment and thus the need for more innovation which can only be realized through injecting new human resources into their systems.
Eco-preneurships are therefore bent towards ensuring a clean environment for the benefit of the community within. The environmental entrepreneurs also help to reduce carbon emission through the use of renewable energy sources that emanate from solar and wind power. These energy sources therefore help to reduce the costs of production as well, hence leading to more profitability for the eco-preneurships.
It is a known fact that eco-preneurships usually have the best waste management systems in place. As such, this helps to reduce pollution within the operating environment. Carbon emission remains the biggest challenge for most companies (Isaak, 1999, p.64). However, Eco-preneurships have been able to effectively reduce carbon emission through the use of locally available raw materials in their production process and thus less transportation.
Therefore, eco-preneurships will have a good reputation and a competitive edge against the other business ventures; hence, this will lead to more customers and thus higher sales volumes. Profitability in this case will be inevitable. Companies should therefore be driven towards a sustainable environment so as to ensure that they are able to save costs as well as manage their wastes effectively.
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- Libecap, G.D 2009, Frontiers in Eco Entrepreneurship Research, Emerald Group Publishing: Edinburgh.
- Schaltegger, S., & Wagner, M 2006, Managing the business case for sustainability: the integration of social, environmental and economic performance, Greenleaf: Michigan.
- Schaper, M 2005, Making ecopreneurs: developing sustainable entrepreneurship, Ashgate Publishing, Ltd: New York.