"Visions of World Benefit & Global Responsibility: Perspectives of McGill Students

Thursday, July 26, 2007


Ecoawareness is one of the 21st century’s most important principles; it serves to remind society of the dangers of a dying ecosystem. Ecoawareness signifies being aware of our surrounding environment.

We are transitioning from a period where profitability was the sole purpose of a corporation to a period where profits now translate into prosperity. Profitability is no longer uni-dimensional, it is complex and multifaceted. Prosperity in relation to business can be seen as the just balance between a company’s profitability and its contribution to society and the environment. It is a give and take situation which is reminiscent of symbiosis. However, since the advent of the industrial revolution, business has been built around the trade of goods between society and the corporation; these goods were and still are taken from our environment without giving anything back to it. This sustained misbalance has created the necessity for us to be aware of our environment.

Ecoawareness is a relatively new movement which can be linked to our first initiatives of recycling, reusing and reducing (3 R’s), composting and waste management. It is led by great visionaries such as Al Gore who see the threat of global warming and seek to correct this imbalance. The meaning of ecoawareness has changed over the years but never held such a strong meaning as in the 21st century. This is due to the fact that we are now realizing that our continued neglect can result in our demise.

We can no longer turn our backs on the environment. The situation has to be corrected urgently. Several corporations have taken a more “greener” stance on the production of their goods and many other still need to. The consumer is now placed in a position where they are offered multiple products at roughly the same price and the added notion of purchasing a “green” product is the determining factor in the consumer’s decision.

Building a corporation or transforming a corporation into one that is ecoaware has multiple benefits. The environment will not be as harshly effected by the production of the goods and the consumers will see this and be more likely to buy these goods or even invest in the company. Ecoawareness is a concept that will boost the viability of both the environment and the corporation. Companies such as Sharp are certified ISO 14001, a specification for an environmental management system, and engage in higher standards of environmental regulations. These policies are generally more beneficial towards the stakeholders. This investment in the environment will be rewarded financially as; the consumer will purchase products made by the “greener” corporation rather than traditional products.

As the public mindset shifts towards more environmentally conscious ways of living, there is no choice but to follow their thoughts in order to survive. The link between the corporation, the people and the environment is ultimately decided by the people since they are the ones with the buying power. Corporations who take too much from the environment without giving back will not be as profitable since other corporations are willing to give more back and still remain profitable. Ecoawareness is to the benefit of all, the corporations must integrate this into their business strategies in order to survive on the new market.

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