Our guiding principles
The principles and values that lead to a sustainable economy, synchronized with market needs
We have laid out ten basic concepts that characterize business decision making and can serve as a guide for its entrepreneurs, founders, management and stakeholders.
The respect of the concept of the ‘market’
Enterprise, the market economy and the creation of added value are the three main axles for all thinking about development in a given society. It is not by chance that the development of our civilization is based on the notion of the ‘marketplace’ as a place of meeting and exchange of goods, services, raw materials and labor. The growth or decline of various civilizations throughout the ages has always depended on their ability to attract wealth and travelers. There is nothing wrong with accepting the concept of the market and its rules, as long as they are consistent with the following principles.
The closed cycle, full circle, of bio-imitation
An enterprise is completely sustainable when it has framed its entire productions process, in the context of a ‘closed circle’ i.e. as happens in nature when the death or discarding of a given species or element results in food or life for another. Therefore an industry’s products and processes should be planned through imitating nature. For example, in the case of a single product it is necessary to design a means by which all of its components can be disassembled, recycled and metabolized without damaging the health of the planet and its citizens. It is necessary for both technology and management to study and reproduce the ‘magic’ that nature itself enacts in every place and occasion.
Given that solar energy is the only energy source that is eternally renewable that does not create entropic distortions or pollution; given that the present industrial and market economic model does not have the characteristics to extend itself for an indefinite period of time, as it is not self-sustaining; given that energy production is the prime source of power in today’s world, and given that the international conflicts of our time derive from the need to control this primary source; therefore making free and long lasting electrical energy available to all of the peoples of the world would vastly improve the possibilities for well being and world peace.
This principle includes two corollaries. The first, aimed at generating the lowest level of waste in the use of scarce natural resources, is obtainable via thoughtful planning of the processes themselves, and the implementation of the logic of a ‘closed cycle’. The second refers to the productivity of a resource in narrower terms, or its ability to exhibit constant productivity over time, without unnatural systemic strain or toxic waste which shows up in the final product.
Compatible Value Chain (CVC)
Every factor of the Value Chain of each industry needs to be studied in order that in the mid to long term, each of these is compatible both with the logic of Sustainable Development and with the needs of the Market Place( i.e. value creation for the company and enjoyment and satisfaction of the actual needs of the public.) The Compatible Value Chain is a ‘long term’ chain that takes into account a company’s actions far past the traditional cycle of production and sales. It considers as well the lasting effects on the vitality of the Planet, the health and well being of its citizens, and the social equilibrium of the collectivity.
Decentralization and value creation
The premise of the ‘economy of scale’, widespread in industry as a critical factor for success, is not always correct. In practice everything that is mass produced in a manner that exceeds certain dimensions generates waste, (redundancy) and unnecessary collateral costs. Small decentralized plants are at times more efficient than centralized ones, as they are more closely allied to local needs. Globalization and localization are in our opinion concepts that can live side by side as they solve specific needs. Globalization is fruitful when dealing with universal across the board mass needs (basic nutrition). Localization is called for when dealing with specific cultures or traditions, (a variety of grape stock that is hard to reproduce elsewhere) or a specific craft, (lace making.) In either case it is necessary that all of the added value generated by the industry be correctly spread among all of those involved in its creation, within and outside the industry. That form of ‘decentralization’ can enhance a balance in society, and reduce conflicts and tension.
Satisfying the citizen’s needs and his enjoyment of life.
The concept of the quality of life is not derived exclusively from monetary logic. It also takes into account those immaterial values such as a livable environment, a community’s participation in wider social activities, a person’s intellectual and cultural fulfillment, and links to his own values and traditions, his personal relations, his free time activities that make room for aspirations and dreams, health and beauty as well. A sustainable model that forces its citizens to give up the above list will never be willingly accepted or adopted in a person’s daily life. A sustainable model must imitate nature in its expression of abundance, generosity, pleasure, vitality, energy , emotions and fecundity, otherwise it is not worth pursuing.
Innovation and renovation
The success of any organization that wishes to create value is tied both to its capacity to discover the path leading toward growth, by keeping abreast of technology and innovative processes, (innovation) as well as its capacity to develop its own range of products and services in relation to the way the culture, society and life styles evolve, (renovation.) The basic challenge is that of adapting continually to the market forces in order to meet the demand. To do this one has to continually renew and modify the existing products to meet the expectations of the consumer.
Fiscal correctness and government incentives.
A correct interpretation of both taxes and development incentives on the part of the government, would ideally reward the merits of those who act in a sustainable manner, in a logic of respect for the environment and the society at large. This would not be a partisan logic rewarding a specific ideology, but a purely economic fact.
Those who generate systemic inefficiency and externalize their real costs should pay these losses back in the form of higher taxes or lower incentives. They should be dissuaded from their behavior (either by fines or non-renewal of licenses or public opinion.) Those whose actions are the opposite, should be encouraged to continue in that manner, via grants or other incentives.
10. The population increase
This is perhaps that most critical point, for given that the present social model is leading to a doubling of the world population every thirty years, within a very few generations it will be impossible to survive despite the adoption of a sustainable economic model. This subject is not strictly part of the industrial culture, if not for the production of products that speculate on the increase of the population. It is one thing to produce goods and services that allow for a people to live better. It is quite another to encourage a people to have as many children as possible in order to generate more customers.
All of the behaviors that favor population growth for economic, political or ideological reasons have little place in a truly sustainable model. In this context the emancipation of women and their global right to choose how to manage their family unit, will become the determining factor in population control.