Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Unsustainable Businesses - Keurig and its K-cup

Last week I began the first two classes for Sustainable Business Practices.
The first one I'm taking is-Environmental Economics : Evaluating the impact of sustainable business practices.
And the second one is - Introduction to sustainability

While talking about sustainability in the class various various issues were of concern to people. From ever increasing consumption to the dependability on oil and our ever need to have bigger, newer, faster.

It brings a very interesting issues to forefront. What is the real cost of a product?
What escapes out of the factory exhaust, what is discharged in the water bodies, what is dumped in the landfills. Who bears these costs?

Should there be a land fill tax? Take the coffee machine company Keurig (http://www.keurig.com). They make single serving coffee cup called K-cup. Every little plastic cup is thrown after one cup is brewed.

To have a business model based on "use and throw" of non biodegradable resources like plastic should be a sin. Companies like these should be charged landfill taxes to make business decisions more sustainability friendly.

Keurig should also encourage consumers to empty out the leftover coffee and put the cups for recycle. Figuring out how to monitor the number of cups get recycled and how many end up in land fills another problem to chew on.

We need changes that are lasting and that can be possible only when at both individual and corporate level we think sustainably.

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