The impact business has on communities, consumers, suppliers, governments, and the environment hasn't always been at the center of planning for big business. Safe, sustainable solutions have often arrived after the damage has been done, as a way to remain relevant and in business, and everything else has been driven monetarily. Until now. With the rise in entrepreneurship and startups, the best unintended effect we never imagined has everything to do with impact for social, economical, and environmental good.
Going Beyond Growth
A business growth strategy, short and long term projections, and financial quotas are at the center of business planning but along the way, businesses have popped up to show us there is a way to incorporate world-changing metrics without sacrificing success. Tom Shoe's is a great case study in this realm of going beyond growth and putting impact at the center of everything being built.
Solution Based Approach
Since then, we've been witness to plenty of other startups who are dedicated to solving a problem, and their business is centered around seeking those solutions. These businesses are innovating solutions to, sometimes worldwide, problems and really sharing a vision for a better world with their consumers. Lawrence Smith from GenEon Technologies is on the impact trajectory, and it's because GenEon is committed to removing harmful chemicals from our indoor environments.
Impact + Influence
Influence is the power to affect or control something or someone, perhaps a market or a specific group of consumers. Impact is the force or energy of two or more objects, or to have a strong effect on something... like environmental/economic/social good plus business. The possibilities, when we create an impact and then use that as a foundation to influence markets, communities, economies and business, are endless.
What We Don't Know...
According to Smith and GenEon, cleaning could literally be killing us. If you aren't sure that the store-bought products we use to clean, sanitize, and disinfect are hurting us, just listen to the major health agencies. The CDC, the World Health Organization, and the American Lung Association are all making it clear: cleaners and disinfectants are harmful, not only to consumers, but to the environment. These agencies have gone as far as to publicly state that long-term use of these chemical laden products is deadly, has been linked to birth defects, asthma and allergies on the low end of the spectrum and in severe cases respiratory disease and cancer.
Couldn't Skip the Impact
At GenEon, their entire growth strategy is around reeducating the marketplace to see that, while we've put massive emphasis on our outdoor environments, we haven't replicated this for our indoor environments. But there is hope as the younger generations, entering the marketplace and becoming consumers, understand the dangers of chemicals and are interested in new opportunities to make a big impact.
The Impact of Technology
This new approach leaves a lot of room for really cool and very smart innovation. GenEon's technology offers what they call on-site generation, which allows consumers to create the cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting products they need as they need them using water, electricity, and minerals. This works using a method called electrochemical ion activation. Sodium ions are positively charged and chloride ions are negatively charged, and then they are exposed to a low electrical charge. The end result is a solution that has 80-200 times the sanitizing power of chlorine bleach.
Your Own Impact
Let's end on a call-to-action, by identifying three things you can do to elevate your economical, environmental, or social impact in the world.
Problem solve. Consider a problem tied to your market or community that needs solved. You might not have the solution right now, but begin the process by identifying the problem and work forward from there.
Speak out. As you learn, educate those around you of both the problem and the potential solutions. Offer transparency and a new way of thinking.
Become the expert. Show up everywhere you can and share, share share.