Environmental Problems and their Effect on Global Business
The world is beset with numerous problems too many to list out here. Rising unemployment, the ugly head of terrorism and economic recession are some of them but without doubt the number one priority is to tackle the environmental problems that are after all a man made issue in the first place. Large scale tree removal and deforestation for developmental projects and setting up plants and factories have only compounded the problems. A rising awareness among the present generation of the harmful effects of pollution and global warming have led to measures being adopted to lessen its impact on various facets of life. However, the sector worst affected by adverse environmental issues is trade, commerce and businesses at large.
The top environmental issues are all related to climatic changes. Global warming that has resulted from greenhouse gas emissions has given rise to a number of effects that have impacted the business communities at large and thereby by default the consumers. What then are the primary areas in this regard –
- Rising sea levels is one of the most crucial of causes that is affecting businesses around the world. Organisations target consumers in different demographic segments and this is mainly the foundation of all marketing strategies. Now if the population shifts constantly, this exercise becomes extremely difficult. This is what is happening today and putting most businesses in a bind. Rising ocean levels and the increasing threat of floods due to global warming and melting of the polar ice caps are making populations in coastal areas migrate inland thereby reducing client base and necessitating constantly evolving marketing approaches. On the flip side, severe drought has the same effects further eroding consumer markets.
- Two of the heavily climate dependant necessities of man is agriculture and fisheries. Shifting ocean eco-systems resulting from warming of sea water is playing havoc with marine food supply chain. This is especially disastrous for owners of sea food restaurants as they face a scarcity of shellfish, tuna, salmon and other ocean catches. Hence they are being forced to make changes to their menu and finding it difficult to cater to patrons with a taste for sea food. The same holds true for agriculture too. An example will illustrate this point better. Global warming it is predicted by experts will bring the wine industry to its knees in the not too distant future as grapes are extremely sensitive to temperature fluctuations.
Agriculture too will be badly hit. Drought conditions will force farmers to shun the traditional cropping patterns and opt for others that require less water to cultivate. This again will result in a radical shift in food chain supply and negatively impact industries dependant on it.
- Many businesses especially those engaged in manufacturing have to go through additional expenses to upgrade machinery and equipment. It is to stay within stipulated emission levels, both in terms of gases discharged in the air and effluents discharged through the drainage systems. These entail significant investments without any tangible returns on profits. Other businesses such as the logistics and the delivery sector will have to replace conventional vehicles with hybrid or electric ones to reduce emissions. All this is a costly proposition that eats into profitability thereby affecting business growth and development.
To avert this environmental crisis that has struck businesses the world over and is in fact threatening to get worse, it is necessary for everyone to contribute their mite to saving planet Earth from disaster. Alternative options should be considered at every step. Tree pruning in Melbourne or wherever else for that matter or strengthening trees with cables and bracing may be a substitute for total tree removal. Again shifting to clean fuels and electric cars may be made mandatory in specific commercial instances. All these should bear fruit and halt the earth’s slide towards disaster.