A business simply refers to the exchange of goods and services for money. But with the looming global sustainability crisis, there’s a need to extend this definition to ‘the exchange of goods and services, not just for money, but for the betterment of human beings and their surroundings.’

Today, we are utilizing our natural resources unsustainably. The rate of manufacturing and disposal of materials, products, and widgets is ever increasing. Chemicals and pollutants become common by the day both in the outdoor and indoor environments. Our home, the earth, has become toxic. Why wouldn’t it? With every company out to make a monetary profit, little attention has been paid to the true cost of their exercises towards vulnerable populations and their environment.

The time has come to shift our awareness to more important matters in the areas that we live in. We are overdue with how we should put our most brilliant minds to work; the creation of conscious businesses whose goal is to achieve a higher purpose at length-not as an afterthought. Indeed, good deeds and profit have in the past been seen as mutually exclusive bodies that cannot be achieved at the same time. But cutting edge businesses that are changing the globe for the better have sprung up, proving that we can actually “have our cake and eat it too.” These enterprises are the perfect carriers of the philosophy of conscious capitalism.

Conscious capitalism- This is an ideology that states the need for businesses to serve all principal stakeholders, along with the environment. Conscious capitalism doesn’t dismiss the pursuit of financial profit but stresses doing so in a way that accommodates the interests of all key stakeholders into the business plan of the company.

This philosophy aims at eradicating the failures of traditional capitalism including;

  • Lack of equality and opportunity
  • Worker exploitation
  • The increasing disparity of wealth and income
  • Corporate moral and ethical irresponsibility
  • Ecological disasters

Key Features of conscious capitalism

1. A higher purpose

A business that creates shared value among all its stakeholders is driven by purpose. Improving people’s lives results in ripe financial returns.

2. Stakeholder integration

Enlightened corporate leadership, as part of the community in which it resides,

 inspires employees,

 fosters trust with suppliers,

creates loyal customers, and

generates profits.

3. Conscious leadership

Every business needs an ethical self-aware leader who is motivated primarily by purpose and service, rather than the fattest paycheck.

4. Sustaining culture

A company’s culture strengthens its own ethics, purpose, and activities. The characteristics of a conscious culture include; trust, accountability, caring, transparency, integrity, learning, and egalitarianism.

Bringing conscious capitalism to the property investment industry

It’s easy to assume that conscious capitalism practices and real estate development can’t go hand in hand. Somehow, it has stuck to the minds of many of this generation that developers mustn’t be conscious of the adverse impact of their construction on the environment. That because one is building on undeveloped land, it doesn’t matter if the development hurts the socioeconomic sphere surrounding it or not.

As such, developers have been labeled as transaction-hungry land-grabbers with little concern for the planet and its inhabitants. We cannot dismiss this as false, but it is also not true for those developers out there with genuine interest at heart.

In reality, growth and progress have been deeply capitalized when it is a field that should aim at meeting the needs of the community. It is true to say that not every land developer carries the interest for all stakeholders at heart. But real estate development is just like any other industry. And there are plenty of people bent towards finding the balance between passion and profit; between positive impact and financial feasibility. ‘Hermie homes’ is one such establishment.

Utilizing the might of capitalism to bring about change in the community has proven that there’s more than one way to make a difference that doesn’t involve writing checks to charities. Sure, property investment takes time, but it is worth the wait.

 As conscious capitalism aims at doing good from the ground up, day one of the construction should consist of an inclusive listening process. Many times, projects with great intentions fail to remember to ask their intended consumers for input. As a result, an establishment can many a time miss the mark. Many developers will go to a community with an architect, scan a piece of land, and begin construction without collaborating with its residents. They arrive as knowers rather than learners. How can you fulfill the needs of your stakeholders if you think you already have the answers rather than asking the stakeholders and listening to their opinions?

An example of conscious capitalism in real estate

A conscious home/ property is all about giving people a tranquil space to recharge, all while providing them with the modern amenities that would otherwise demand payment at other high-quality establishments. We’re talking amenities like;

  • solar charging stations for electric cars and cellphones,
  • digital video and inspirational quotes boards that alternate between inspirational content,
  • free WI-FI,
  • community information centers,
  • even filtered drinking water.

The idea is that users can consume these utilities for free, therefore, reaping the benefits of development without buying a thing.

When all’s said and done, success is critical in each business endeavor; although it’s not always measured the same. Fiscal success is evaluated on spreadsheets, but the untouchable success of establishing a place that truly enhances the lives around it can only be accomplished by putting people first in every venture that you undertake.