This winter is noticeably colder and wetter. Historic rainfall, Lake Kachuma rising at 1 foot per hour at peak of recent bomb cyclone storm, devastating flooding in neighboring communities of Los Osos, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara — All of this is a dramatic change from last summer when we experienced triple-digit record-breaking temperatures.
These harsh temperatures and erratic weather patterns are the new normal for many communities. As of this writing, 31 of California’s 58 counties have been declared a major disaster area by FEMA.
Now, more than ever, business leaders must consider the environmental impact of their choices.
Bottom-line economics is not enough without considering the externalized costs to the environment and the health and well-being of our communities. Health outcomes and the environment are inextricably linked.
In fact, poor health is one of the greatest threats to economic productivity. As the World Bank reports in the paper “Health, Wealth, and Wellbeing,” a healthy workforce increases human potential to maximize economic productivity. Or put more simply, a healthy environment means healthy employees, and both are good for business.
We can consider environmental factors at the forefront of business decisions. This might look like allowing employees to work remotely and reducing the overall carbon footprint, ditching print and going digital, or creating incentives to encourage alternative modes of transportation, etc.
We can also educate our offspring. A big experience in my youth was attending the Rancho Alegre Outdoor School. Digging for fossils in exposed shale allowed me to see the interconnectedness of past, present and future. Hiking through landscapes of sagebrush and soft scrub increased my appreciation for nature. We are more likely to value and protect what we feel we can relate to. Cultivating a connection to nature is an integral part of the education of our future business leaders.
Today, too, we can proactively make a commitment to our environment. The California Green Business Network is currently offering an incentive program for businesses that achieve Green Business Certification prior to Earth Day during the Sustainable Business Challenge event. Interested businesses can learn more through the link here: https://bit.ly/earthday23.
The decisions we make today affect both the near and distant future. Acting wisely by referring to past events can protect the future for future generations. We are here to do business and we can no longer do business without considering its impact on the environment.
Support outdoor education by donating to the Rancho Alegre Outdoor School. The camp suffered devastating damage during the 2017 Whittier fire and is still in the process of rebuilding. The program requires significant funding before it can reopen. You can donate to help rebuild Camp Rancho Alegre and its outdoor school by visiting https://campranchoalegre.com/get-involved/.
If you or your school would like to visit camp, please contact Camp Director Glen Goddard at 562-760-0256.