Concern for the environment is no longer the exclusive concern of fringe elements of society; every year the effects of global warming seem more real than the last. Freak flooding; rising sea levels; disappearing ice caps and air pollution are all well documented across news outlets and scientific journals.
On a domestic level we all know there are small things we can do to make a small difference. Installing energy efficient boilers, being conservative with water, insulating your loft space and driving a more energy efficient car are all perfectly good examples of how the small things collectively can make a big difference. However many efforts we might make individually in our domestic lives we will always need large companies and corporations to do their bit.
It’s not just solely heavy industry that needs to address the environmental impact of what they do. Imagine if you will how many paper cups a high street coffee chain will produce over the course of just one year; not just in one country but across the world. Food outlets can reduce food miles by sourcing food closer to their point of sale to reduce their carbon footprint and at the same time increase the freshness of their produce.
Some companies encourage employees to organise car pools which not only cut down on local congestion but improve air quality and put less of a strain on any car parking facilities. Some organisations provide shuttle buses which not only provide all of those said benefits but save commuting costs for employees and anecdotally improve attendance.
But it isn’t simply overall operational concerns that need addressing. In a world where the wealth of multinational companies dwarfs that of entire nations, many would argue it is right for them to be paying taxes in the countries in which they operate to offset any environmental damage through from manufacturing operations, negligence or a post point of sale legacy of packaging or un-biodegradable plastics.
Holding companies to account should boil down to those in corporate tax jobs to ensure that companies can operate in a manner in which they want to be perceived by their customers.
It is a very complicated and hugely diverse planet we have to share between the seven billion of us all simultaneously inhabiting this spinning lump of rock.
But the responsibility does not end there. The world will hopefully be around for a lot longer yet and with the current trajectory for the forecasted population increase if we cannot learn to look after the planet with this many people living on it, how are we going to cope when there are twice as many?