Environmental Issues Faced by Business and Society
Environmental Issues Faced by Business and Society
According to Kock, Santaló and Diestre (2012), there are so many important environmental issues that are faced by businesses and society. The environment has been changing due to the various human activities. When these issues are ignored or not checked, they affect the business by disrupting the supply chain and to the extent of the health of people either working in those businesses or in the society thus reducing manpower and efficiency. This has led to the need of having the issues being checked or solved in order to achieve a sustainable and long lasting financial accessibility.
One of the most environmental issue faced world wide is pollution. An evident example is how air pollution has been consistent because of the toxic gases that are emitted in factories, as well as the combustion of fuel. As shared by (Stern, 2014), some of the common air pollutants include ozone which is formed when nitrogen oxide from vehicles or machines combines with organic compounds under the influence of sunlight. This poses a health risk especially when inhaled because it can cause chest pains, can make someone become asthmatic and have other diseases like bronchitis, irritation of the throat, congestion and coughing (Hemond, Fechner, 2014).
Carbon monoxide is another air pollutant generated when fossil fuels are combusted incompletely. It is a very poisonous gas such that when one inhales it, the oxygen carried by the blood reduces. Severe inhalation of this gas can lead to death. Nitrogen oxide is also another air pollutant that is generated in burning fuels at a high temperature. It forms nitric acid with the reaction of water and oxygen and is responsible for forming acid rain. It poses a health risk where it damages the lungs and the respiratory system (Stern, 2014).
(Stern, 2014) shares the particulate matter as another air pollutant. It poses a health risk by damaging a person’s eyes and nose. It also affects someone’s lungs and heart. Sulfur dioxide is also an air pollutant generated when the fossil fuels are incinerated in factories or industries. It causes pains in the chest and difficulty in breathing. It can also damage someone’s heart and lungs. Another air pollutant shared by (Stern, 2014) is lead which is used while processing manufacturing products. It can cause damages on the kidney, nervous system and the brain. It is also responsible for affecting the child mortality rate.
Water pollution is also shared by (Stern, 2014), where water bodies and ground water become contaminated with chemicals. This usually happens when industries or companies,that manufacture products dispose their yielded wastes comprised of chemicals in water bodies. In instances like fracking, environmentalists have argued that there is a possibility of the process contaminating water on the ground. This kind of contamination will not only cause health risks but also affect the animals and the environment (Stern, 2014).
According to (Hemond, Fechner, 2014), proper disposal of wastes has become an environmental issue. There has been an increase in population which leads to the accumulation of garbage. The disposal of garbage has become a problem because of the uncontrollable accumulation of garbage. Mostly, garbage in solid form are usually disposed in landfills where they are buried or they are incinerated. This kind of disposal is not environmental friendly. Wrong disposal of garbage can lead to vermin attraction and in turn contaminate the ground water (Hemond, Fechner, 2014).
Climate change has also been an environmental issue that has affected people and the environment. In cases where it is very hot because of high temperatures, people consume electricity too much in order to cool themselves. (Wheeler & Von Braun, 2013)also shares how the use of electricity leads to excessive consumption of natural resources meant to produce electricity. In cases where it is very cold, electricity is also used a lot in warming up houses, which in turn lead to excessive consumption of electricity and natural resources (Barros, Field, Dokke &Mastrandrea, 2014).
Climate change can also be influenced in cases where industries are interested in making profits. An example is when a business dealing with wood or trees cut down trees without replacing them. According to (Wheeler & Von Braun, 2013), it leads to deforestation which in turn affects agriculture such that the plants will have sunlight and carbon dioxide but lack moisture. This will affect the business in that they will have to quit because of lack of trees. It affects people because they are likely to experience hunger and animals because they lose their habitat.
(Barros, Field, Dokke &Mastrandrea, 2014) shares how climate change has affected infrastructure and properties at the coastal region because it has led to erosion of the shoreline, increased floods at the coastal regions and storm surges. This has made many cities, islands and wetlands become susceptible to floods. This has affected businesses that are within that region because of lost property or customers. It has also affected people in the society where they have experienced waterborne diseases or some have lost lives, lost employment and their homes
According to (Barros, Field, Dokke &Mastrandrea, 2014), climate change has led to drought and lack of water which is an environmental issue as well. It has led to poor sanitation facilities and have led people access water in sources that are not safe. As shared by (Rosenzweig, Elliot & Deryng, 2014), it has also affected crops in farms that use irrigation leading to low productivity. The low productivity will affect the final product or service because the manufacturers will lack enough raw materials. Businesses will also be affected because of low water supply since extra costs in the business will be incurred to solve the problem instead of profits (Barros, Field, Dokke &Mastrandrea, 2014).
As shared by (Kock, Santaló & Diestre, 2012), in order to solve the above environmental issues, all sectors need to work in unison. More partnerships between companies need being created to prevent more environmental issues. Industries are also seeking consultations from experts on how to prevent their businesses from being disrupted because of environmental issues. In cases of disposal of wastes, some organizations have started recycling their wastes and some have sold their waste to other industries (Kock, Santaló & Diestre, 2012).
In cases of deforestation, most of the companies involved with cutting trees have been replacing the cut trees by planting others. Air and water pollution has been curbed by some organizations by using the remedial process which involves the using the screens of gauges to cover smoke stacks, waste water has been filtered and also clay and liners made of poly have been used to retain ponds (Kock, Santaló & Diestre, 2012).
VR Barros, CB Field, DJ Dokke, MD Mastrandrea. (2014), Climate change 2014, Impacts, adaptation and Vulnerability
C Rosenzweig, J Elliot, D Deryng. (2014), Assesing agricultural risks of climate change in the 21st Century in a global griped crop model inter comparison
T Wheeler, J Von Braun. (2013), Climate change impacts on global food security.
HF Hemond, EJ Fechner. (2014), Chemical fate and transport in the environment
AC Stern. (2014), Fundamentals of air pollution
CJ Kock, J Santaló, L Diestre. (2012), Corporate governance and the environment, What type of governance creates greener companies?
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