This report describes our project, which is a business that is environment friendly. The focus on eco-business stems from the understanding that the transformation of our environment brings with it intricate relationships bearing both enterprise and livelihood opportunities. Consequently, the project we came up with, as Spedding advices, is financially viability, environmentally sustainability, and socio-culturally acceptable. Much of what is presented in this paper stems from my role in developing the project.
My main contribution to the project consisted in researching on different aspects of the business and doing a market analysis.
The idea for our Eco-business dawned on us after scanning the New York City (NYC) neighborhoods. NYC being an urban area, many of the inhabitants are preoccupied throughout the day in their various jobs. Therefore, it is very difficult for them to engage in gardening or any other activity of the same nature. While carrying out our survey, we realized that in NYC there are a number of individuals engaged in community gardening.
However, upon further investigations, our respondents intimated to us that despite the numerous faming activities that take place in the area, people find it difficult to partake in those farming activities due to time constraints. Secondly, in order for them to engage in farming, they have to travel a long distance to community gardens. Moreover, growing vegetables at home tends to be impossible due to lack of implements that would facilitate the same. Finally, many residents that we spoke to do not know where they could buy implements for home gardens.
Having identified the aforementioned concerns, we recognized a prime business opportunity. Our business idea revolves around assisting or helping NYC people to start growing vegetables in the comfort of their homes. We are keen on helping people start growing vegetables for their own consumption but also because of the related environmental benefits.
In so doing, we came up with a brilliant idea that we now call INTO-MEET-SEE. We chose the brand name because we hope to encourage people to take plants into their homes. Our brand name suggests to individuals that, ‘bring a plant INTO your home then you could MEET green around you’.
In addition, this phrase has in itself profound insight than the ones overtly seen. In fact, in our opinion, the brand name implies ‘let us make intimate connection with nature and the environment”. In other words, the business idea involves helping people to be friendly with the natural environment thus being ready to preserve it. Consequently, our idea will to promote a development platform that enables people to meet their needs without compromising the livelihood of future generations.
Our project recognizes that despite many people sustainable development is very critical. Since development tends to be perceived to entail the degradation of the environment. Our business entails various activities including online business, renting planter, selling planter-kit, selling holiday kit, as well as events and promotions. Our promotional activities involve the establishment of an open market, each season, so that people can come and exchange whatever they have grown.
Secondly, we provide website services through which members can post pictures of their plants, and share gardening tips. Third, we provide a weekly-customized planter to customers as a way of enhancing the growing trend of Eco-green movement.
As a business entity, we will generate profit from the sale of complete plant kit. Furthermore, we have other products such as events-holiday kit, customized planter, and fertilizer. We predict that the selling of fertilizer will be our major profit source once the market is saturated with our planter kits.
The fertilizer will be generated from organic material, which can be obtained free of charge from garbage collection centers. We plan to obtain leftovers from Wal-Mart, Costco, restaurants, spent-grain Microbrewery, and Coffee grain. Furthermore, in order to enhance profitability, we will use a hybrid truck in transporting the fertilizer. Moreover, we will carry out our transportation within a 100 miles radius, hence making our business more sustainable. In addition to the radii of transportation and the use of hybrid transportation, we also use recycled paper for broaches and catalog. This will help ensure that there is no wastage of materials.
The materials we use are biodegradable hence harmless to the environment. Additionally we make planter from recyclable materials. Most importantly, the kind of fertilizer that we use is completely organic. Consequently, our project is sustainable because it uses less costly materials effectively and with no harmful effect on ecosystem. To determine the viability of our project, we did a SWOT analysis and came up with various factors, which we have to address.
Regarding strengths, our business is 100% environment friendly hence a positive brand image. The project is also profitable due to the minimal costs incurred in obtaining materials as mentioned earlier in this essay. The greatest opportunity for our project emanates from the current eco-green trend that many people have taken to with gusto. We believe that many people will find our product timely and very beneficial. However, the weakness of our project is that it tends to be hard to increase awareness especially because we are limited to the 100 miles radius. Through the internet we can advertise our products widely, but the logistics of delivering the products may prove challenging. The most critical threats that our project faces include high competition since the project is easy to imitate.
The trend of coming up with eco-friendly business ventures started long ago.
However, what eco-friendly means has changed over time. For instance, in 1962, Rachel Carson helped change understanding for environmental degradation from merely “deforestation, mining destruction, factory pollution, and other visible changes.” She illustrated that insidious degradation is evidenced in absence of birds to sing and move across the mountains, because of people’s behavior to devastate the natural environment. This assertion was quite simple but very profound in the sense that it created the awareness that industrial chemicals were bound to destroy the peace and tranquility in the natural world. One critical element we endeavored to include in our project is recycling.
Recycling is understood to be “aspirin, alleviating a rather large collective hangover…overconsumption.” To us, the use of recycled materials was a measure of lowering the environmental effect of garbage materials. The recycling culture entails producing and then disposing less.
 We strongly believe that our project is an instrument through which one can create awareness about eco-friendly approach to business. Through a project like ours, we believe biodiversity loss is reduced. Biodiversity is very critical because an ecosystem is only stable when biodiversity is enhanced.
Livio, DeSimone D. & Frank Popoff. Eco-Efficiency: The Business Link to Sustainable Development.
Massachusetts: MIT Press, 2000. McDonough, William and Michael Braungart. Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things. New York: North Point Press, 2002. Michael, Redclift R. “Sustainable Development (1997-2005) – An Oxymoron Comes of Age”. Sustainable Development 13 (2005): pp.212-227http://www.
homepages.ucl.ac.uk/~ucessjb/S3%20Reading/redclift%202005.pdf(Accessed 16th December, 2010) Raimund, Bleischwitz & Peter Hennicke. Eco-Efficiency, Regulation and Sustainable Business: Towards A Governance Structure for Sustainable Development. Northampton: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2004.
Spedding, Linda S. Environmental Management for Business. 2nd Ed.
New York: J. Wiley, 1996. Linda S. Spedding, Environmental Management for Business. 2nd Ed.
, (New York: J. Wiley, 1996), 33 Ibid, 41 Bleischwitz Raimund & Peter Hennicke, Eco-Efficiency, Regulation, and Sustainable Business: Towards A Governance Structure for Sustainable Development (Northampton: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2004), 113 Michael Redclift, “Sustainable Development (1997-2005) – An Oxymoron Comes of Age”, Sustainable Development 13 (2005),212 William McDonough and Michael Braungart, Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things, (New York: North Point Press, 2002), 47 Idem William and Braungart, 47 Idem DeSimone, Livio D. & Frank Popoff, Eco-Efficiency: The Business Link to Sustainable Development (Massachusetts: MIT Press, 2000), 35.