I was looking at the cost of a basic university course in risk management and was shocked to see how much it costs. Basic three-year degrees cost as much as a top-of-the-range sedan. Not too long ago my son started a finance degree (he’s completed it) at a university and the rector in his opening address to parents remarked that the university had place for 22,000 students and had to turn away 12,000.
What a business to be in. Demand is strong despite the economy. Fees are so high that you are unable to pay for them unless you take out an education policy on the day your child is born or save for years for an amount that could buy you an apartment in a reasonably good area.
Education towards sustainability is even more expensive. At the high end, a basic one-day seminar on sustainability risk management costs up to R10,000.
For the start-up or small business, the costs of tuning up your skills in the area of sustainability can seriously challenge your non-existent training budget. Okay, that’s not to say that small businesses don’t invest in training. In fact, I was just looking at some information that showed small- to medium-size businesses invest the most money in skills.
How then do you find out the latest information, advice and techniques to take advantage of sustainability in your business? You’d be lucky to find any so-called “free” course on the market, and if you did, you will find that the information is heavily laced with sales messages for the service provider and their partners. Not only that but information is also often skewed towards forcing sustainability down suppliers’ throats. The materials have scant value to help a start-up or small business secure competitive advantage from sustainability practices.
Not all advice needs to come at a shockingly high price. One medium-size business reduced their energy consumption by 10% using a no-cost method that is so obvious but something that you won’t find on any sustainability course.
Another entrepreneurial business person in a dyed-in-the-wool business made one simple change to his process and his profits shot up.
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The bartender says “What’ll ya have?”
The climate scientist says, “I’ll have a beer.”
Turning his thumb towards the climate denier, he adds, “This jerk will have an extra strong hurricane. And no ice.”