Environmental Sustainability Essay

2910 words - 12 pages

Executive summary
This report seeks to define Environmental sustainability and examine its importance in the contemporary world of corporate dominance in the world arena. Business activities are regularly having an increasing contribution to environmental problems and threatening sustainability. Phenomena like climate change and extreme weather events have evidenced the effects of relentless use and overuse of natural resources. The need for environmental sustainability has become important now more than ever following the occurrence of repeated natural disasters and studies showing the ill effects on human health. It has been established that the misuse of natural resources can threaten ...view middle of the document...

Sustainability initiatives consist of policies and strategies devised by corporations in order to minimize their impact on the generations to come. Concerns related to impact on environment are balanced with socio-economic concerns involving minimization of consumption of natural resources so that future generations can also utilize them (Environmentalleader.com, 2015).

The concept of environmental sustainability has evolved over time.
Gemmell and Scott (2013) portray sustainability as three intercepting circles – economic, social and environmental, with all three having a certain overlap.

In the current world scenario, organizations have to focus on the effect that their actions have on society and environment. The number of stakeholders involved with businesses has evolved over time to include employees, customers, investors, governmental institutions and so on. The various stakeholders involved demand that organizations operate in a manner that is responsible and accountable. The sustainability goals for corporations are a positive and essential change but often pose a challenge for the profit maximizing aims. (Sprinkle and Maines, 2010).

The road towards sustainability involves transitions in basic technologies of production, transport and consumption rather than slight modifications in existing processes. Starting with reformation of the existing technology is necessary but much more needs to be done in order to achieve a sustainable economy. To minimize the adverse effects of anthropogenic activities and attain the ultimate goal of sustainable development, fundamental changes like switching away from hydrocarbon energy supply and concentrating on renewable sources of energy are vital (Kemp, 1994).

Development and sustainability issues

According to Bakan (2004), the shift in the position of corporations from mere business organizations to dominant economic institutions is one of the most significant events in modern world history. This shift in power has had serious implications on the environment and visible alterations have been seen in natural phenomena that can be traced back to activities associated with industries and businesses.
Technological advances and globalization are giving way to strong economic growth worldwide. The world GDP is estimated to expand by 75% in the period from 1995 to 2020, bringing with it additional pressure on environmental and social recourses (Oecd.org, 2015)
Corporations are serious contributors to environmental problems faced today, which make their role essential and justified in dealing with these issues. Over the past few decades, corporations have often been criticized for the effect of their actions on the environment and negligence of sustainability issues. Environment is a core issue with regards to corporate social responsibility. Companies integrating social and environmental concerns into their business operations and in their interaction...

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