The Role of Business in Contributing to and Addressing to Sustainability Issues:
Education on sustainable development will promote the enthusiasm for the prudent and judicious use of resources so that future generations may also be able to use it. Education on sustainable development will lead to environment-friendly commitments and policies to design. For this purpose, the united nations have taken the initiative to start a program to promote the spirit of sustainable development to encourage the changes in knowledge, skills, values, and attitudes to guarantee more sustainability in the society for all. In the world with a population of more than 7 million and limited resources, we need to develop an understanding of living sustainably.
The business also contributes to developing sustainable issues like climate change, water pollution, waste production, air pollution, deforestation and many more. Many of the companies benefit from these issues and increase their products thereby contributing to environmental problems.
Significant Sustainable Development Issue Impacting the Business Sector in this modern Era:
Waste production is the most significant sustainable development issue impacting the business sector in this modern era. The call for climate justice and waste management is an emerging social movement that had found its roots in various sectors of society particularly the marginalized by reframing climate change and waste management as a manifestation of liberal capitalism and aggressive politics, not just an environmental concern. Because of the futile struggle of contemporary environmentalism and the lack of political urgency to address climate change, the campaign for Climate Justice and waste management stands to be a proactive, dynamic, and inclusive solution to the problem at hand. It seeks to understand the intricacies of waste production and management in an ethical and political perspective primarily on how the mitigation of climate change and waste management is an equitable responsibility of the few and not an equal burden to be shared by many.
· One of the causes of this waste production and climate change is CO2 emission. Our World published the article in Data, global inequalities in carbon dioxide emissions are heavily emphasized through substantial data with the conclusion that “the richest of the global population would be responsible for an even larger share of global emissions” (Richie).
· Water pollution is also one of the main causes. It causes a lot of damage to society and the climate that ultimately results in environmental and financial losses. For example, Unilever has stated publicly that making water and sanitation and hygiene commonplace offers a huge market opportunity for them as well as a human development one.
· Other reasons are untreated waste released by companies and big industries like paper industry, fertilizer manufacturing companies and metal treatment spots, etc. They release toxic material like polluted smoke and untreated water full of harmful metals and chemicals.
· There are also many other reasons like wrong policies of industries, no check and balance by the government, etc.
Ø Research shows that many countries bear the brunt of physical, psychosocial, financial, and natural effects of waste production and are forced to “shell out 1% to 2% of their annual gross domestic product” to ensure the safety of their citizens. Furthermore, they must “allot $ 1.7 trillion per year” in order to maintain their efforts (Rhys).
Ø CO2 emission is producing a lot of environmental waste that results in the loss of health of people. And also causes us to invest a lot of revenue to fight against disease and produce medicines. It also makes a business industry and on the other, it becomes a reason for financial loses too.
Ø Ultimately, it results in producing an effect on the whole society and nation even it has disturbed the whole world. Almost all kinds of industries too. Somewhere, it becomes a reason to generate revenue and somewhere it becomes a loss of billions or trillions of dollars.
Interaction of Business with respect to the Waste Management Issue:
Waste production and management include water pollution, industrial waste management, and the treatment of toxic substances, etc. Water pollution is one of the major issues and water sustainability is one of the biggest challenges in this modern era.
Sustainable water systems should provide adequate water quantity and appropriate water quality for a given need, without compromising the future ability to provide this capacity and quality.
How does water pollution evolve?
Water pollution occurs when huge bodies of water like the groundwater, oceans, rivers, and lakes are contaminated with harmful chemicals and bacteria released directly from large chemical production houses and many other industries like steel and paper industry. This is due to the waste product directly thrown into the water bodies.
Industries that contribute to water pollution globally:
Many businesses are contributing to this issue like the Iron and steel industry. The water pollution load projection shows that the iron and steel industry contributes by 70% in water pollution followed by the non-ferrous metal, and manufacturing of drugs by 6.5%. Chemical industries contribute to pollution with heavy metals, organic and inorganic chemicals.
Various Causes of Water Pollution Are Following:
· Industrial waste.
· Sewage and wastewater.
· Mining activities.
· Marine dumping.
· Accidental oil leakage.
· The burning of fossil fuels.
· Chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
· Leakage from sewer lines.
Following are the four industries that contribute a lot to water pollution globally:
DALYs (Disability-Adjusted Life Years)
Used Lead-Acid Batteries (ULAB)
2,000,000 - 4,800,000
Mining and Ore Processing
450,000 - 2,600,000
1,000,000 - 2,500,000
1,200,000 - 2,000,000
The purpose to share the above statistics is troubling because malpractice known as greenwashing is slowly introduced to markets by companies in a bid to benefit from mass environmental degradation. Most of the companies and industries depict that their policies are environmentally friendly but they are on the other side taking the benefits of environmental degradation. How that works could be described as “the combination of limited public access to information and seemingly unlimited advertising enabled companies to present themselves as caring environmental stewards, even as they were engaging in environmentally unsustainable practices” (Watson).
Role of UN initiatives that are helping to raise the issue:
· 2010: World Water Day "Clean Water for a Healthy World
Each year, World Water Day is held on 22 March as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. World Water Day highlights a particular aspect of freshwater, each year. While in 2010 World Water Day was dedicated to ensure and maintain the water quality.
UN-Water Thematic Priority Area was established in September 2010 on Water Quality to increase the interagency collaboration. And the other purpose was to coordination on water quality and support Governments and other stakeholders and organizations to address water quality challenges.
The UN-Water Taskforce was created in 2009 on wastewater management to highlight issues surrounding wastewater management, and to increase awareness by governments, and strengthen UN-System collaboration on all activities related to wastewater management.
It is very compulsory to develop knowledge and skills in future trendsetters and stakeholders which ensure the sustainability of the environment. For this purpose, education on sustainable development must be granted to the students and policy developers. It will not only fulfill the needs of the people but also protect the natural resources, save the national budget and thus improve the economy of the country. Education on sustainable development will promote the enthusiasm for the prudent and judicious use of resources so that future generations may also be able to use it. Education on sustainable development will lead to environment-friendly commitments and policies to design. All the companies and industries must focus on the safety of the environment more than their profits at the cost of ruining the natural climate.
Solutions to cope up with this Issue and to make economy better:
In the world with a population of more than 7 million and limited resources, we need to develop an understanding of living sustainably. The first step towards the promotion of sustainable development is to ensure quality education because only education will empower the people to change the way of thinking and broadens their intellectual enabling them to work towards a sustainable future. There is also coordination of the Global Action Program (GAP) on Education on Sustainable Development and for this co-ordination UNESCO is responsible.
There is rapidly changing in technology in today’s era that not only improves the digitalization and globalization but also provide many opportunities and challenges, however, on the other side, learning environment, the capacities of teachers and the quality of education have not kept place, students and individuals in their fields are not aware of the importance of keeping this environment protected and shielded from harmful changes. In the presence of all these megatrends, technology is altering the planet’s climate, animals and landscapes in unprecedented ways, and threatening all life on earth. Many economic, social and environmental problems have raised their heads. To solve this problem, it has become the foremost essentiality to educate the people and students in this respect so that they can develop such environmentally-friendly equipment and technology that can ensure the safety of the ecosystem. They may participate to reduce issues like environmental pollution, poverty, economic decline, and many other issues. This may be enabling the learners to think creatively and critically about the future. How will the environment be impacted when current consumption trends continue? How would a sustainable world look like? Students will learn about scenario planning, transition management, modeling, and simulations.
In order to attain this goal, some of the efforts are needed to improve learning outcomes for the full life cycle, especially for women, girls and marginalized people in vulnerable settings. It is the most direly needed today that we are well aware of the utilization of resources and designing that technology that ensures the well-being of future generations. Therefore every country must take part in promoting education on developing sustainability in the environment.
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Water Quality and Health Strategy 2013-2020, for the period 2013-2020 to manage water quality with a view to protecting and promoting human health.
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Watson, Bruce. “The Troubling Evolution of Corporate Greenwashing.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 20 Aug. 2016, www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2016/aug/20/greenwashing-environmentalism-lies-companies.
Water Quality for Ecosystems and Human Health. 2nd edition. UNEP, ERCE, UNESCO 2008
The trouble evolution of corporate green-washing, http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2016/aug/20/greenwashing-environmentalism-lies-companies.
Link To Article: https://youth-journal.org/the-role-of-business-in-contributing-to-and-addressing-to-su