Investing in sustainability, otherwise known as green investing, is something that is imperative to the health of our world, but it can also result in profit. Decreased operating costs, preservation of resources, and retaining loyal customers are all ways that your sustainable investment can come back to you.
But, the real question is which sustainability projects will make the greatest environmental impact? After all, you don’t want your investment to ultimately be a waste.
Here at TONTOTON, we believe in the community-based approach to eliminating plastic waste. We’ve seen that, through empowering communities, great change can occur in a short period of time. Here’s why local communities are important to sustainability projects and why we choose the community-based approach.
Until recently, many believed that moving toward sustainability would negatively impact profit margins. On the surface, that makes sense; how could funding environmental projects result in any sort of financial return?
Companies who have switched to sustainable business models have discovered decreased operating costs due to choices like switching to energy-efficient lightbulbs. Furthermore, it behooves companies to fund projects to preserve resources and promote ethical sourcing before regulation change results in lost assets. Sustainable investing also looks good, and customers like to support companies making sustainable choices.
Sometimes, sustainable choices don’t necessarily mean investing in your company. Investing in something like plastic credits can allow your company to fund environmental and social projects while pursuing more sustainable choices overall. Local communities enjoy a cleaner environment, you enjoy the positive press from publicly funding sustainable projects, and your company will be given precious time to strategically address your plastic waste while addressing it in the meantime. It’s a win for everyone.
How local communities impact the world environment
When we talk about saving the environment, we discuss the global impact. This planet is our home, and we need to be aware of the global ramifications of our decisions.
However, when it comes time to make a meaningful impact, taking a global approach is nearly impossible. The world is a big place, and individual projects simply don’t have the resources to approach things from a global level. We need to start small and move outward. Local communities in developing countries are a good place to start.
Communities in developing countries are often at a higher risk of the side effects of climate change. Droughts affect life-giving crops, plastic waste kills fish that fishing villages rely upon for survival, and those in poorer communities are often much more reliant upon quickly depleting natural resources. Because of this, the stakes are much higher for them. People in these communities can easily be empowered to make positive environmental change, and they are motivated to maintain that change.
Additionally, these communities are often at some of the biggest waste sources. For example, Vietnam is the fourth largest producer of plastic waste in the world, and they are the largest importer of plastic waste. Additionally, the Mekong River is one of the most polluted rivers in the world and carries tons of plastic into the ocean every year. Vietnam’s plastic problem is a global issue, but it’s the local communities who will be the ones to remove plastic waste from their local environment, saving it from poisoning the global environment.
TONTOTON’s community-based approach
The projects that your plastic credits fund work to serve the members of the communities in which we work while saving the environment. We work closely with waste pickers and households to provide training, personal protective equipment, and access to health care as they collect plastic waste to be recycled.
Most important, however, we have monetized a type of plastic waste that has been ignored up until now: orphan plastic. Orphan plastic is low-value, post-consumer plastic that cannot be recycled. Because of this, it is worthless to waste pickers who will leave it to eventually end up in our oceans. Now, they can gather orphan plastic as an additional income source for their families. They are motivated to gather the plastic because of the extra income, and we are able to deliver the plastic to cement factories where it is converted into an energy source.
Through our system, we’ve removed tens of tons of plastic waste from the environment, and that number is only going to grow as we expand our operations into northern Vietnam and Cambodia.
When it comes to sustainability investing, you want to know that your money is going toward something that will ultimately make a difference. Through TONTOTON’s community-based approach, you’ll be able to witness the impact that your investment has on the local communities, the world, and your business.