Canada's economy has lost its balance. Trouble looms. Those are not words you will hear from Prime Minister Stephen Harper but it is the grim reality of the unsustainable economic ethos of his Conservative government. Instead of the telling us the truth, the government is spending unprecedented gobs of our money to mislead us about the health of the country with the Canada Action Plan advertising campaign saturating the airwaves. In reality, our petro premier has transformed a balanced country into a petro-state that is "hollowing out" the economy.
On a recent trip to Costa Rica, I witnessed a "revolution," though thankfully not the kind that culminates in a coup d'état. What I saw was the so-called "micro-mill revolution" -- a new way in which coffee is processed and sold, that could help transform the way specialty coffee is traded, to the betterment of all involved.
Earlier this fall I participated in a panel at the Toronto Board of Trade about "Achieving a sustainable and responsible global sourcing policy." Given their supply chain power, companies must continually advance more sustainable practices and must be reinforced by benchmarking transparency standards. In practice, what does this mean?
One of the hottest topics today for business and consumers is environmental sustainability...but what does that really mean? For a time, green arrows and leaf logos were the signal to customers that they were getting a sustainable product. But it wasn't long before customers got more sophisticated and began to recognize that "green" logos alone do not guarantee an environmentally sound, responsible and sustainable global sourcing model.
Ask anyone with a shred of a conscience, and they'll tell you that they want a cleaner and more equitable world. With the rise of social media, consumers are becoming increasingly more intelligent and aware of the implications of their purchases. We are shopping not only for value, but with values. That's a major culture shift.
Sustainability doesn't only apply to business practices and our communities -- we need to be mindful of how it plays out in our personal lives as well, especially in the workplace. Burnout and overwork in corporate life have become so commonplace now that we just accept it as a permanent state of affairs.