Modern industrial development throughout the world can act as a catalyst in achieving a wide range of social objectives. These include creating more employment opportunities, eradicating poverty, ensuring gender equality, and maintaining acceptable labor standards. The proper growth of industries even increases people’s incomes and gives them a decent standard of living. They can then give their children a better education and get to access advanced healthcare facilities. However, there is a large downside of the above as well. The current manufacturing processes of most industries are having a negative impact on the global environment. They are causing climate change, extinction of certain animal species, pollution, and loss of valuable natural resources.
What are environmental sustainability and its primary goals?
Industrialization without proper planning and regulation has lead to environmental degradation throughout the world. In many countries, the local governments are randomly issuing licenses to establish a wide range of industries. These include coal mines, thermal power plants, cement factories, petrochemical, ferro-alloy, sponge iron, and steel-manufacturing units. Consequently, there is a rise in the emission of toxic greenhouse gasses, fumes, industrial waste, smoke, and dust. There has even been an increase in deforestation, soil degradation, and desertification in different parts of the world. Most environmentalists in different countries claim that the only viable solution to these problems is environmental sustainability.
Most people include entrepreneurs; want to know what is environmental sustainability and its correlation to economic growth. Environmental sustainability refers to human beings’ responsibility to conserve vital natural resources and protect the fragile ecosystem. It implies the adoption of habits that are environmentally friendly by people currently inhabiting the Earth. This practice ensures they have adequate resources for their development without compromising those of future generations. The primary objectives of pursuing environmental sustainability policies are as follows:
- Eradicate poverty and global hunger,
- Provide people access to high-quality drinking water, better sanitation, education, and medical facilities,
- Strive to accomplish and ensure gender equality,
- Tackle the effects of unpredictable climate change and pollution affecting people’s lives,
- Promote sustainable economic growth leading to the creation of employment opportunities and strong economies, and
- Ensure the health of the land people inhabit, the air they breathe, and the seas.
How can manufacturing companies strive towards environmental sustainability?
Companies owning manufacturing industries can conserve the Earth’s natural resources and reduce their carbon footprints. To do so, these corporate enterprises should consider adopting the following environmentally sustainable measures:
- Install and operate machinery in their factories that emit the least amount of industrial pollutants
- Adopt a circular economy mindset by designing and making reusable consumer products,
- Implement innovative manufacturing processes which recycle water, raw materials, and by-products,
- Incorporate innovative technologies like 3D printing in the production process to minimize industrial waste,
- Use energy-efficient appliances throughout the factories and distribution centers within their supply-chain, and
- Create a paperless environment in their head and branch offices.
Companies operating industries should clearly understand what is environmental sustainability and how it affects them. Only then can these corporate enterprises take necessary steps to conserve the Earth’s natural resources and reduce carbon footprint to save the planet from the adverse effects of industrialization with success.