“Who are businesses really responsible to? Their shareholders? Their customers? Their employees? None of the above, I have finally come to believe. Fundamentally, businesses are responsible to their resource base. Without a healthy planet there are no shareholders, no customers, no employees. As the conservationist David Brower liked to say, ‘There is no business to be done on a dead planet.’ “–Yvon Chouinard, founder Patagonia Inc., 1% For The Planet Inc.
As a business with ties into the ever-evolving technology field, Eclipse LED has rooted itself in an efficient means of existence and not just as a company built around an efficient lighting source. Eclipse LED pledges 1% of its annual net profit to non-profit organizations, 1% For The Planet and Athlete Recovery Fund. Eclipse LED is not alone; they are flanked by thousands of other progressive businesses across the globe, all linked together in common goals and business ethics.
Examining different business models in today’s global economy, one can spot a trend between the companies who are leading their markets in progress. Sustainability. This concept is multi-faceted, and important on each tier of its implementation– starting with the environment. It’s more than an ideology to begin building your business from the Earth up. Designing your company’s business model around the environment automatically places it on the road to success because of the sheer nature of the direction the global economy is moving toward. Sustainability and energy conservation have become headline issues in the past fifteen years, from solar energy to organic farming techniques. It’s more than profitable; it’s one hundred percent necessary in order to conserve the environment and to forward technology– to protect AND to flourish.
Borrowing from our friend Yvon, here are some key points we believe are crucial to in order for corporations to be sustainable and to thrive. This isn’t necessarily a practical checklist, but more the philosophical reasoning points behind corporate responsibility.
Step 1: Lead an examined life. A major cause of environmental damage, and in return technological cessation, is ignorance. Ignorance is deliberate when people avoid confronting problems and when we as inhabitants of the Earth refuse to learn because we don’t want to have to start acting on what we know.
Step 2: Clean up your act. Once we’ve learned the environmental costs, we should naturally try to reduce them. Whether this means sourcing sustainable resources, such as recycled aluminum for your LED Flashlights and LED Headlamps, or waiting to bulk ship your LED Bike Lights or Off Road LED Lights product. People love to figure out how to do the right thing, once they know what that is.
Step 3: Do your penance. No matter the diligence of your business, you are causing waste and pollution. It is almost impossible to be completely neutral on the waste and pollution front. However, once a company has started the process of minimizing its footprint, it still has “back-taxes” owed to the environment and humanity. This is the penance for its sins. Find a sensible avenue to redeem your business in the meantime. This could come in the form of monetary donation to non-profit organizations such as 1% For The Planet, or simply giving your employees days off to volunteer for environmental or humanitarian causes.
Step 4: Support civil democracy. It’s small groups that can change the minds of large entities. A thousand diverse activist groups, each passionately working on a specific problem, can accomplish more than bloated, cautious NGOs or governments addressing every issue at the once. Learn from nature– nature loves diversity and hates monolithic and stagnate centralization.
Step 5: Influence other companies. If you can begin to grasp the previous steps, this one should be natural. A company that can find ways to be more efficient in its endeavors while balancing the platform of environmental responsibility has a moral obligation to spread this ideology to others.
Eclipse LED has been and will continue to be committed to these principles. We have adhered to the idea of “responsible” business on many fronts, including sustainable resources, rigorous safety and Lumen Testing, non-profit donation campaigns, progressive technological endeavors, and much more. It takes courage to pursue this mode of business, and it’s difficult to process through the status-quo business model. But nonetheless it’s important… it’s a start.