Inês Costa: "For years, the onus was placed on the citizen, but the issue lies with the agents operating in the system"
Reflecting on the development of the economy and society, there is an urgent need for real changes within both the economic and social systems. If in the past, natural resources were extracted with the objective of supplying the basic needs of human beings, today we can see that the extraction of these resources is essentially aimed at the growth of social wealth.
Inês dos Santos Costa pointed out in the podcast From Science To People that consumerism is the preferred way for current society to achieve human satisfaction. During the confinement, in a pandemic context, "there were many people who questioned their lives, their expectations about work and, consequently, reflected on the existence of other dimensions of human satisfaction beyond that associated with consumption," she said.
Thereby, if the consumer assumes a fundamental role as a decision-maker between valuing a product or acquiring a new one and, consequently, dictating the end of life of a product, the truth is that in a system with several agents that operate outside the control of the common individual, the industry also, in Inês Costa's view, needs the ambition to model the business context in order to drive more sustainable measures.
"There are biophysical limits that cannot be crossed, so when companies realize that this is an inevitability, they will have to adapt their business model to this reality. It will be a very tough process, because it's been more than 100 years of doing it in a certain way, with a thinking process and legal architecture adjusted to that reality, and in a short period of time you have to rethink everything."
Listen to the full podcast below.
Note: The audio is only available in the Portuguese language.