The Role of Business in Protecting the Environment

1568 Words Nov 5th, 2009 7 Pages
The role business can play in protecting the environment

“…shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand.” (Matthew 7:26, King James Bible)

There can be little doubt that mankind and indeed the whole planet is facing an environmental crisis. Whether that crisis is brought to a head by global warming, ozone depletion, acid rain, tropical deforestation or top soil erosion, remains to be seen. In this essay we will examine the role business is playing in creating this crisis and what it can do to help protect the environment in the future.

Business produces the goods and services that meet our needs, wants and desires. It is this process that has lead to much of the destruction of the environment that
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It is clear now that economic growth without heed to the environmental cost can no longer be the main objective of business; growth without recognition of the environmental cost is unjustifiable. We know that new technologies and processes are not sufficient to meet the demands of the issues at hand. It would also be foolish for us to rely solely or even heavily on the possibility that science and technology will cure the ills of the past and provide us with new streams of growth for the future. Fundamentally there is a need for a change of attitude towards production and consumption, but more importantly there is a need to become ethically aware of the total, comprehensive cost of business, that is not just its economic cost but also its social and environmental costs. We must discover new and innovative ways to organize the business culture within the existing free market economy, under governmental and social regulation while promoting sustainable production and growth for the future.

On a global scale there are conflicts in business as to how this might be achieved. There are those in the emerging economies who protest that the environmental destruction to date has been caused by the developed world. The developed world has been careless and reckless in its treatment of the planet and has benefitted significantly from this negligence, but now that impending disaster has been detected they insist that all economies, including the underdeveloped, must bear
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