The environment is no longer an externality in a firm’s books. Environmental resources that a business is based on, such as water, electricity, trees, chemicals have an immediate impact on the profitability and viability of a business. Movements that internalize the environmental metric are gaining momentum both in developed nations, as well as the developing world. These programs range from Better Business societies to green business certification programs espoused by both the industry and governmental organizations.
The concept of zero waste was considered a pipe dream a decade ago. Businesses today have demonstrated a solid waste diversion rate of over 99%. Systemic solutions to solid waste streams divert garbage into recyclables, compostables, and/or waste2energy plants. Starting initially as individual business leadership, increasingly municipalities are altering existing solid waste contracts to include benefits for composting, and free recyclable pickup.
The environmental movement has shifted from its emotive paradigm to a more quantitative approach; one that calculates not only the environmental impact, but the fiscal impact of environmental measures. The fiscal benefits of environmentalism are so immediate, in fact, that a reduction of a ready 40% in water, energy and solid waste results in an increase in the Gross Operating Profit (GOP) by 2-4 percentage points.
Communicating the Environment to Ethnic Minorities
Governmental and public agencies in Western nations struggle to incorporate environmental practices into the daily workings of the ethnic communities within their geographical purview. Generally considered an uphill battle, environmental messaging to ethnic minorities is not as difficult as it traditionally has been. Nor are ethnic communities backward in practicing environmental measures. Most nations outside of the United States are traditionally environmentally-friendly than the mainstream practices in the residential and business sectors.
Greening the Hospitality Industry
The hospitality industry has unique in its needs and resource consumption. It is one of the most energy intensive industries per square foot, and among hotels, the water consumption per capita is estimated to be 10 times the water allocation per person in residential settings. It is a very fast-paced industry, with 24×7 services, which places extra pressure on the equipment, systems, and people servicing the industry. Despite its constraints, the hospitality industry provides significant low-hanging fruit: low-cost and no-cost measures that provide immediate fiscal benefits. Hotels, from luxury hotels to motels, can readily cut their water consumption by 40%, energy consumption by 20%, and solid waste by 90%.
Green and Progressive Comedy
Can we talk about the environment in a light-hearted manner? Can we get the environmental message to mainstream audiences in a non-aggressive communique? Vasu Ritu Primlani promotes social messaging through the medium of standup comedy. Here is a sample video on Green Comedy.
- Environmentalists Slam Mass. Solid Waste Plan (wbur.org)
- DENR backs solid waste plan (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- Waste Management; Why it Matters for You to be Involved (wastemanagementzimbabwe.wordpress.com)
- Jacksonville council panel on solid waste leaves to-do list for another committee (jacksonville.com)