“Harmonized Sustainability” by Dr. Hamsa Thota

Sustainability has three value measures: Economic, social, and ecologic. Let us imagine a future in which pioneering SMEs are creating sustainable products and services delivering superior value, i.e. they are delivering economic value, social value, and ecologic value. And more importantly, consumers are willing to pay premium market prices to buy green products and services, because they perceive that green products and services offer superior value. This is an ecosystem operating in Harmony.

Our Grand challenge is to create a global, sustainable, ecosystem of Harmony, and achieve “Harmonized Sustainability”. Harmony within the ecosystem is enabled by investments, and policies that support both the pioneering, and resource efficient SMEs.

How to achieve Harmonized Sustainability?
In a session on “The Green Economy: SME’s Sustainability Plans & Decarbonization Commitments-2024 Challenges and Risks: held on 8 May 2024 during the AIM Congress 2024 in ADNEC, Abu Dhabi, I had Q&A with Ambassador Raekwon Chung, Board member-Banki-Mon Foundation, Personal Copy recipient-2007 Nobel Peace Prize of IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change); Chairman, International Award Committee, Global Energy Prize; and Founder, New Climate Innovation Center, Tashkent University of Economics and Prof. Dr. Mohamed Gamal Kafafy, World Chairman, president, Global University of Science & Technology (GUST), World Green Economy Council (WGECO), Chief Consultant for Energy & SD of World Fund for Development and Planning (WFDP)-United Nations.

Q&A with Ambassador Chung
“I agree with you that sustainability does not mean only ecological sustainability. Sustainability should be about economic, social, and ecological sustainability all at the same time. I have been promoting since 2005 from UN ESCAP, a new paradigm of Green Growth as a paradigm to pursue economic and ecological sustainability at the same time.
My general comment is that to facilitate SMEs to pursue 2030 Agenda, we should not only focus on SME operations but more broadly on the dynamics of the market and the behavior of consumers. We should review the broad market circumstances and consumer trends where SMEs are operating.”

1. How do we transform market competition from cheapest price to better sustainability quality?
“We must differentiate the price between high and low sustainability quality products; Price differentiation, branding and certification of sustainable products are critical. SMEs need support for branding and marketing of their sustainable products at higher prices.”

2. How might we encourage and nurture green consumers who are willing to pay higher price for high sustainability quality product? It will be easy for SMEs to pursue 2030 Agenda if the consumers are willing to pay higher price to buy sustainable products.
“We must promote a social campaign for consumers to buy high sustainability products by paying high price for them. I am now proposing Me First campaign; I should be the first to share the responsibility of sustainability. SMEs alone cannot share the responsibility, but consumers must join to share the responsibility. Not all consumers will join from the beginning, but increasing number of climate crisis concerned consumers are already volunteering to pay higher price for better sustainability quality products. The success story of Patagonia is an example. Where there is no green consumers willing to pay higher sustainability quality products, there will be no transformation towards quality competition in the market. My take home messages are branding and price differentiation of sustainable products and nurturing “Me First” social campaign for climate crisis concerned consumers to volunteer to recognize and consume high sustainability quality products at higher price.

Q&A with Prof. Kafafy

“I will address how SMEs can survive and thrive in the Green Economy with zero waste. As we know the opposite word of Waste is Efficiency. Resource efficiency is the maximizing of the supply of money, materials, staff, and other assets that can be drawn on by a person or organization to function effectively, with minimum wasted (natural) resource expenses to reduce cost and maximize profit with competitive advantage. This issue is especially important to SMEs in the Arab & African States. They face pressure to reduce operations costs while complying with SDG Goals 2023.”

To achieve Harmonized Sustainability, we need to take purposeful actions to build ecosystem with Harmony in our individual roles as consumers, producers, suppliers and marketers of goods and services, and as investors and policy makers. Working together towards a common purpose, we can create the global, sustainable, ecosystem of Harmony and achieve “Harmonized Sustainability”.

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