In another part of his speech, Chairy also mentioned the development of new marketing trends, especially in social media, which relies on influencers or buzzers. This phenomenon occurs not only in the business field but also socially and politically. Whether from celebrities or influential figures, many influencers are deliberately paid to influence people's attitudes and behaviors. These influencers, according to Chairy, can play an essential role in encouraging people to consume more responsibly. Unfortunately, added Chairy, in an increasingly capitalistic and hedonistic society, many influencers prefer to pursue material gains and ignore this noble role.
In his speech, Chairy also emphasized the community's role in encouraging the circular economy for a better future for the nation and state. Here, what is meant by a circular economy is an economic activity that includes reuse, product improvement, recycling, environmentally friendly production design, sustainable supply chains, and includes more responsible consumption. "So, the movement to consume consciously is very relevant to the concept of a circular economy," said Chairy.
Applying the circular economy concept is also appropriate to answer global challenges, such as climate change, decreasing biodiversity, greenhouse effect, and increasing waste and pollution. Just like conscious consumers, conscious and responsible companies must also play a role in overcoming global problems by doing at least three things.
First, the purchase of raw materials and the production process. Are the raw materials obtained from sustainable methods? For example, if the raw material is wood, is every cutting down of one tree balanced with a replanting step. Likewise, when raw materials are produced, does the process guarantee its employees' health, safety, and even welfare? "I believe that every business decision taken by considering the welfare and safety of the stakeholders is the best decision," said Chairy.
Second, the problem of consumption. Companies must educate their consumers, for example, through influencers, not to consume excessively. Especially if the consumption activities cause excessive household waste.
Third, companies must collect and process waste from their products consumed by the public. For this reason, companies need to build systems, facilities, and various facilities to realize this. For example, an apparel company provided facilities for consumers to repair old clothes instead of buying new ones.
Now, Indonesia and the world are experiencing a pandemic. Through his speech, Chairy invited the public to imagine a post-pandemic world. At the forefront, there are conscious consumers as a pressure group and enlightened influencers willing to promote improvement for society. What happened then?
There will be more companies, including startups, whose businesses carry the concept of a circular economy from the business side. They are aware that the old business pattern will only lead to the destruction of society and itself.
What about consumers? More and more consumers will become aware and willing to sacrifice some of their convenience to consume more responsibly and ethically. Together with the influencers, these consumers will become a pressure group to guide the business on a more responsible path.
From the government side, it is hoped that there will be policies and regulations that support production and consumption activities more responsibly. Governments can also empower influencers to promote healthy lifestyles. Chairy said, “The Covid-19 pandemic has reminded us of the need to produce and consume consciously and more responsibly. So, for the sake of a better future for the world, even though the pandemic is over, we must never return to the old lifestyle."
Universities, according to Chairy, can also play their role by continuing to provide enlightenment and become a “beacon” that guides responsible consumption and production activities. “As an eastern nation, we are fortunate to have ancestors who taught us the importance of respecting nature; forest, sea, mountains, and sky. Nature must be the core of our lifestyle,” said Chairy. He then closed his speech by asserting, "Only by producing and consuming responsibly will we be able to secure the nation's collective future." (JB Susetiyo, PR team. Photo: Silvia Desi Betrice)