Sustainability and Competitiveness Don't Have to Be at Odds
In the modern drive to create a more sustainable world, we see manufacturers coming out with all sorts of products intended to target a particular audience. When those products fail, it is often because they don't compete well. For a long time, consumers viewed sustainable products as less reliable, less quality, and a bit more expensive. But it doesn't have to be that way. Sustainability and competitiveness do not have to be at odds. Our USB rechargeable batteries are proof of that.
As a business, Pale Blue Earth exists for several reasons. Our primary reason is to catalyze a shift in the world from single use batteries to rechargeables.
We aim to create a more sustainable world by encouraging people to invest in rechargeable batteries. We want them to stop buying alkaline batteries and throwing them in landfills. We take it one step further by donating some of our revenues to charitable organizations who share our goals of sustainability and environmental responsibilities.
Our secondary mission is to leverage our business to invest in positive environmental impact.
To achieve these goals, we do need to be profitable. We need to employee a smart hard-working and innovative team, to invest in R&D, to get the word out to consumers about our products. All of this does require a reasonably profitable company.
It is Possible to Make a Profit
All of this is to say that it is entirely possible to pursue both profit and the causes we care about simultaneously. Profit and sustainability are not mutually exclusive. And in fact, when companies are free to pursue profit, they are also free to pursue the best solutions to the problems our world faces.
Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries exist, in part, because someone saw profit in producing them. That need for profit affords us the ability to manufacture a product that is better for the environment and more sustainable than alkaline batteries. Moreover, lithium-ion batteries compete very well against alkalines. That cannot be said for every green product that makes it to market.
Plenty of Opportunity to Compete
A glaring example of a product that is not yet competitive is the currently available electric cars. Do not misunderstand. The electric car is a great concept and is only getting better and more competitive, higher performance, and more reliable. In its current state however, it cannot yet compete with the gasoline-powered car in terms of range, price, and functional support. Until it can, it's not going to replace what most people currently drive.
Nonetheless, the opportunity to compete is there. What's driving car companies to pursue electric vehicles? Profit and future marketshare. Companies like Ford and Chevrolet are willing to aggressively compete because they believe they can eventually make money on electric cars.
Profit being at odds with sustainability is an illusion. It is an illusion created by a misunderstanding of the profit motive. We tend to think of profit as being a negative thing. But we all engage in the pursuit of it – even those who claim to be vehemently against it. It is an honor to and we are proud that we have created something that is so good that customers will spend their hard-earned money to buy or invest in. We aim to only improve the products and product line and to continue to invest in environmental impact and this is only possible by creating great products and having top notch service.
It's Not Just Financial
A big part of misunderstanding profit is confining it to money. But profit goes way beyond mere finances. If you are working hard today in order to build a better tomorrow, you are seeking profit in some form. It might be in the form of stronger relationships. It might manifest itself in a healthier lifestyle. Regardless, you are investing resources now in order to reap some sort of return from those resources later. That is the profit motive.
USB rechargeable batteries compete very well against disposable alkaline batteries. They are a viable alternative that more and more people are turning to. That's a good thing. If we are ever going to reach our sustainability goals, we have to understand sustainability and competitiveness enable companies with their minds focused on a better future to leverage their businesses to create that future.