Short-term thinkers who put quarterly profits above all else consistently argue that caring for the environment destroys business. They are wrong. The evidence keeps growing that planet (and people) friendly policies encourage economic growth while also forcing companies to increase their efficiency. It’s a win-win for businesses and the planet.
An Italian team of economists have concluded that by taxing companies, and individual behaviours, that damage the environment create great success for the planet and profits.
Green taxes, or taxes levied on businesses and individuals in order to promote environmentally friendly practices, had the largest impact on multifactor productivity, though De Santis and her colleagues wrote that green taxes need to be paired with complementary redistributive policies, such subsidies and grants for companies transitioning to environmentally friendly practices, in order to avoid damaging productivity.
“What is clear is that you have to face this increasing environmental policy stringency, and as a firm, probably the best is if you try to create this win-win solution so it’s passed through an improvement in technology,” De Santis said.
This century bookstores have been struggling to survive due to the rise of Amazon and changing entertainment consumption patterns. When the pandemic started many bookstore owners thought it would be the event that ends the local bookstore. It turns out, the pandemic has actually helped independent bookstores.
Bookstores have started subscription services for readers, home deliveries and got their online stores working better. Some stores have even seen an increase in sales despite everything that’s going on.
As readers hunker down to try and ride out the pandemic, what Saul and other owners have observed is an increased appetite for understanding.
At children’s bookstore Mabel’s Fables in Toronto, when the pandemic kept some customers from visiting, general manager Lizzie McKenzie started juggling a slew of weekly virtual book clubs.
Every decade we need to bailout businesses so capitalism can keep functioning. In the last bailout, caused by American bankers, western countries gave banks corporate welfare cheques that went from the banks to the elite shareholders through dividends. This clearly didn’t work out well for 90% of people as the last decade saw a massive increase in inequality, tax cuts for the rich, and no behavioural correction from an unethical corporate elite. Thankfully, some countries have learned from that corporate welfare mistake and this time around when they give companies tax payer money they’ll put limits on what can be done. Denmark will only be giving corporate welfare to companies registered in Denmark (and thus paying Danish taxes) and ban them from paying dividends to shareholders until the money is paid back to the government.
Hopefully every nation follows Denmark’s example.
The government also said that companies which pay out dividends, buy back own shares or are registered in tax havens won’t be eligible for any of the aid programs, which now amount to a total of 400 billion kroner, when including loans and guarantees.
Finance Minister Nicolai Wammen said in an interview with broadcaster TV2, that Denmark, which is rated AAA, plans to finance new measures partially by issuing government bonds.
“We have a stronger position than many other countries and we are able to borrow money to get through this situation in the best way possible,” Wammen said.
A coffee chain in Cambodia is more than just another place to get an espresso. Feel Good Coffee is a social enterprise that runs cafes and sells coffee wholesale to improve the lives of the average Cambodian. One of the really neat things they do is train their staff to basically get jobs elsewhere, the company gets better trained employees while those employees are free to apply elsewhere with increased skills like management or customer service. Employees are paid a living wage for serving good coffee and pastries, if you’re in Cambodia you should pay them a visit.
In our business, empowerment means giving people meaningful options an the power to transform their choices into actions and desired outcomes.
For our farmer-suppliers, this means theyset the price for their own coffee, using their knowledge to grow and process their coffee without interference, we respect their autonomy and treat them as equal partners in our business, and help them to access tools and training about new processes and technologies that can make their farms more sustainable and profitable.
For our employees, it means sharing information, rewards, and power with our entire staff so that they can take initiative and make decisions, solve problems, and improve performance and service, and direct their own career path.
To make a company more efficient and innovative all that’s needed is a suggestion box. It turns out that listening to employees can increase the effectiveness of a company no matter how you do it. So if a suggestion box is too old school you can use a Slack channel or any other form of open communication. I’m sure this technique of listening to people who actually put the effort into a task can be applied elsewhere too.
Micah Johnson of GoFanbase, Inc., shared with Small Business Trends that his company created a Slack channel where employees can submit their ideas. Tomer Bar-Zeev of IronSource said that 24-hour hackathons enable his innovation team to break from their usual projects and work on entirely different, new projects. At my company, JotForm, we hold weekly Demo Days to give employees a forum to explore their ideas, no matter how far-fetched.
Even a system as simple as a suggestion box can be highly effective. Just ask Charlie Ward, the engineer who used Amazon’s digital suggestion box to submit his idea for free shipping, which eventually formed the basis of Amazon Prime. As journalist Brad Stone wrote in his book The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon, CEO Jeff Bezos was reportedly “immediately enchanted by the idea.”