Inclusive sustainable growth is no longer a buzzword for environmentalists and green groups. Governments and businesses too are growing increasingly aware that without sustainability, the future will be bleak.
We now know that we cannot continue to consume and destroy our natural environment at the rate we have been doing for the past 50 years. Both developed as well as developing countries have a moral duty to preserve the environment for future generations.
Indonesia, one of richest nations on earth in terms of natural resources and biodiversity, has a particularly important role to play in this global pursuit. As Mahendra Siregar, chairman of the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) noted at the opening of the B4E Indonesia Summit 2013, sustainable development is no longer a choice. It is a must.
"We have to understand that unless our business model and supply chain are in accordance to global and nationally recognized sustainable practices, it just a matter of time before our natural environment will be lost, he said.
The good news is that Indonesia's businesses are waking up to this reality. More and more companies, both domestic and multinational, are implementing sustainable practices as highlighted by the large number of companies that won one of the Indonesian Sustainable Business Awards 2013.
Understanding sustainability is not easy so these companies should be applauded. They must be used as role-models so that all Indonesians can enjoy a clean environment. Unless companies change, consumers will force them to change.
In today's environment, sustainability can no longer be an afterthought. It must be ingrained into the very core of every business activity.
Governments and civil society organizations must also play their part for only then will mankind have a fighting chance.
This editoral was published in the Jakarta Globe newspaper on November 29, 2013