We need to evolve our thinking around how we value people and planet
We’ve been taught to value anything in terms of how much money can be made from it. Period. And this way of thinking still applies to people just as much as it applies to the natural resources of our planet. It typically involves a zero-sum game, with a winner and a loser, the benefit and loss adding up to nothing. This primitive way of thinking has given us a world on fire, endless war, an enormous wealth divide, and an increasingly bleak outlook as a species. The UN reports that one-third of the world population is going hungry. Meanwhile, another third just gets by, and the final third of us live in wasteful, consumerist, machine societies.
There are more values than just dollars and cents
The carbon value of a plant or product can show a net positive, such as with hemp, which means that the plant absorbs more CO2 than is released by its cultivation. Or the carbon value can be a massive negative, such as with oil and coal. To stop climate change, we need to absorb massive amounts of CO2 from the atmosphere, while we transition to a carbon neutral global economy.
Giving meaningful, well-paid employment to people benefits individuals and society. Hemp is a high value crop, and its cultivation, processing and sales create jobs all along the value chain.
Rampant capitalism is literally consuming the world. Because, to it, everything has a monetary value. Monetary value needs to be measured along with the other values, to give a more balanced view of things. Handily, hemp crops have high monetary values, typically much more than crops like wheat. We need to help with infrastructure.
What good does a product or service do for society? Does it help us lead better lives? What happens to the profits it generates? Does it have CSR? What is its legacy? How do we measure the value of the society that we live in, when it’s made up of so many influences? Hemp has the potential to launch thousands of entrepreneurs into a market that is growing rapidly and will never go out of fashion. Hemp is mankind’s oldest cultivated crop!
Because our products and services, and their packaging, are not measured for sustainability, we get planned obsolescence. Literal mountains of waste, fast fashion, and all the horrors of western capitalism. The problem is, we’re close to running out. Luckily, hemp is the champion of sustainability. Hemp can give us sustainable plastics, fuel, food, fabric, construction materials and more. Thousands more.
Dimensions of value and a new purpose for business
By evolving how we look at products and services, and by killing the capitalist obsession with money, money, money, we have a real opportunity to change everything.
Here, we’ve outlined 5 powerful dimensions of value, which could be applied to any product or service. Do you think there should be more?
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Founder and CEO at Hempoffset.com and TaoClimate.com.
Hempoffset works with hemp growers and makers worldwide, to capture and sequester CO2 at scale, while building a sustainable world.
Tao Climate works with companies and individuals that want to measure, minimise and manage their carbon footprints. Tao Climate is the way to carbon neutral.
We are proud members of the Google Startups for Sustainable Development program.