The Way Business should be…

Zero impact paper ….from Elephant Dung by Paolo Burattin

Time for another showcase from  abroad. This time postgraduate student Paolo Burattin from Ca Foscari University of Venice, tells us about the wonders of elephant dung zero impact paper

The Thai economy has considerably strengthened over the past few decades, making Thailand a benchmark for the other Countries of the Indochinese peninsula. The consequent cultural development is leading to an increasing awareness about the limits to economic growth among its population. The answer on small scale to such concern has come from Chiang Mai countryside, place wherein profits are made by turning waste into goods to sell. A local family-run business offering experiences with elephants to tourists, such as the traditional tour on the back of the animal, has combined its main activity with the production of paper starting from elephant dung. The process through which the paper is produced is composed of four main phases: boiling and spinning the dung so that the paper is purified from bacteria, dyeing the fibre, laying it evenly, and making it drying. This process is highly environmentally-friendly as the waste that cannot be used to product the paper is recycled to fertilise the soil. In addition, to promote and sell the paper, a small shop has been opened by the family in Chiang Mai City, where it is more likely for prospects to come across with the product. The varieties of colours and the different tactile experiences achievable through little diversifications in the process cannot be considered the only key success factors: prospective purchasers that they are supporting the sustenance of the elephants which is very expensive- and helping the environment at the same time must affect their decision making. Moreover, special exhibitions of local artists are presented on occasion, enhancing both the exposure of the activity and the emotional involvement with the target audience. Such business has also positive impacts on the employment. Despite being modest, it offers job opportunities to local people, avoiding the migration from the countryside to the cities. Considering the overall impacts of such a rural activity on the environment and society, what should be acknowledged as the most significant effect is that such profits could boost other people to undertake similar projects, applying the same basic concept to other fields that none has still explored. Eventually, the expansion of sustainable development might reshape Chiang Mai Province image not only as the Thai capital of culture and handicraft but also as the hub of beautiful alternative businesses. Link: Darren Hoad B.A (Hons.), M.A. M. Phil. IEMA Certified Sustainability Practitioner CSR-P Do you know you’re beautiful? Twitter

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This entry was posted on 02/12/2013 by and tagged , , .
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