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Environmental Worldviews, Policy, and Industrial Ecology

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Environmental World Views, Policy and Industrial Ecology
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Introduction
Economic development goes hand in hand with environmental sustainability. It is from the environment that the resource that foster economic development is obtained. The outputs of activities of economic development are released into the environment through different channels. Hence, economic development and environment are interlinked as they affect each other (Gifford 2004). With a deteriorating environment, the economic development is at risk and with uncontrolled economic development activities the environment quality is at risk too. The interlinking of the two factors has brought about a concern in the world. There is a need to change human behavior such that economic growth and environmental protection complement one another rather than competing goals. Therefore, a framework that manages environmental issues and brings about a healthy interrelationship between ecological systems and industrial systems should be adopted. Hence, sustainable development should not be seen as an ambitious pursuit but rather a way of maintaining two complementing and important factors. By it definition sustainable development is meeting the developmental goals of a human being as the ability of the natural systems is sustained so as to continue providing the natural resources and services on which the society and economy depend on (Gifford, 2004).
Sustainable development is the major goal of the Environmental Defense Fund, which is a nonprofit environmental advocacy agent.

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It was founded in 1967 with its headquarters in New York. It uses practical partnership, smart economies and rigorous science to help protect the earth’s resources; it helps handle urgent matters with practical real world solutions (Environmental Defense Fund, 2000). The group handles the following sectors, climate and energy, health programs out of pollution, oceans to protect marine, ecosystems to ensure friendly policies, use of corporate partnership in its agendas and finally handles environmental economics.
The environmental defense fund (EDF) has for long been known of using corporate partnerships to help to fund its activities. They do not receive the funding directly. They succeed by tapping in the influence and knowledge of other people hence the use of partnerships. Since EDF was launched partnership has been its cornerstone(Environmental Defense Fund, 2000).Working with the market leaders makes whole lot of a difference, once the market leaders in charge of the industries and economic growth are taught how to gain profit in a sustainable way then the effect is transmitted to the whole world gradually.
It enjoys partnership across all types of the industries, farmers, manufacturers, innovators, shipping industry and the oil company. An example of a corporate firm that is in a partnership with the environmental defense fund is the Wal-Mart’s company. Wal-Mart is a multinational corporation that operates retails that have chains of discount department stores. It is the leading employer in the world according to the 2014 release updates. It deals with households products which releases a lot of chemicals to the environment during their production and the dispose of their outputs.
Its target is to operate at low prices but, to work with a high sales turnover. They aim at saving people’s money and help make their lives better. The Wal-Mart started their donations to the environmental defense fund in 2004, this is the period that their partnership began and throughout year by year the environmental defense fund has help the Wal-Mart company to make their products safer to become user friendly and environmental friendly. The EDF has used the Wal-Mart influence on the ground too to touch on the environmental behavior of the people.
Environmental benefits of such a partnership
Every partnership that the environmental defense fund has leads to both economical and environmental benefits. It is the same case with Wal-Mart, their partnership with Wal-Mart has led to many environmental benefits. It is through the numerous programs that the environmental defense fund offers the Wal-Mart company that helps achieves the environmental benefits (Bortman, 2003).
The partnership has led to the production of safer products that harm the environment less. The company has seen a great reduction in its waste production. The policies that the Wal-Mart company has been able to formulate have led it to achieve its sustainable development it had launched. Wal-Mart consulted EDF on the corporate sustainability strategy and the strategy helped in the climate change issue.
The Wal-Mart company wanted to achieve three major goals, to be supplied with 100% renewable energy, to create a zero waste and to sell products that sustain the environment and the people. This was to be achieved through strategies that considered packaging, chemicals used, climate change strategy and aquaculture.
Wal-Mart was able to hire project managers that were in charge of all its projects to ensure sustainable development. The first step that led to an environmental benefit was the acquiring of an international certificate system for a sustainable aquaculture, this helped the Wal-Mart to acquire a credible certificate for the farmed seafood instead of frequently using the ones from the natural sources this protected the marine live as excess fishing was reduced to sustainable one. The aqua live was protected and this is an environmental advantage.
Another environmental benefit is from the reduction of waste produced by Wal-Mart. By reducing waste it means there is reduced pollution and hence a protected environment.Wal-Mart had a target to reduce the global plastic bag used for shopping by 33 percent came the year 2013, this is a goal that has so far been achieved (Bortman, 2003). The plastic shopping bags were and still are among the largest polluters of the soil and the environment at large due to their inorganic nature.
In 2009 EDF accessed the chemical contains the products Wal-Mart was producing and the chemical components were reduced. The Wal-Mart was able to understand the energy efficiency use in the factory. By being energy efficient it meant reduction of the energy being used hence saving up more energy for future use. A fact that has led to sustainable use of the environmental resources.They were able to eliminate 20 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions which were emitted from its supply chains. This is a great benefit putting in the effects of greenhouse gas. The gas has led to climate change and global warming in the world. It reduction is a great advantage and benefit to the environment as it leads to less air pollution and fewer effects of global warming. It helped in sustainable harvest by used of good fertilizers that do not have a lot of chemicals.
The above factors give an overall environmental benefit that is gained by the partnership. Energy efficiency, reduction of waste products released to the environment, use of good fertilizers to main the soil composition, reduction of plastic shopping bags and finally reduction of the chemical composition of the products.
2) Economic benefit of such a partnership
The partnership also brings about economic benefits to the companies and the consumers. With the efficient use of energy and use of renewable energy comes the cost reduction. Cost reduction is an advantage to the consumers and producers. Reduction of energy cost means reduction of cost of production hence the prices of the products are low. This saves more money for the consumers and with low prices consumers will want to buy more leading to more margin profit for the company.
The program to optimize the use of fertilizer has their economic advantages too. Using fertilizers lead to increase in the agricultural products. The more they produced the more the economic growth is achieved. With a lot of produced the prices of goods goes down as the supply increases. It is an economic advantage to both the consumers and the producer.
The use of the sustainable strategies led to the creation of more jobs, an increase in employment leads to an economic growth. People were trained on how to use the sustainability index and more offices opened to foster environmental sustainability by having people hired to work in charge of it.
A program that ensured less chemical on the consumer products was enforced all the goods went through a thorough check to ensure chemicals were kept as low as possible(Baker 2006) This ensured safer products hence the consumers health was protected. A healthy person can do a lot to contribute to the economic development unlike an unhealthy person. No expenses are incurred to treat chronic diseases associated with the consumption of excess quantities of chemicals.
With the company being in a partnership with the EDF it advertises its brand and products. People get to view the company as an environmentalist agent and they would prefer their services as opposed to the service of another firm that is not in such a partnership. Acquiring brand awareness among the consumers and getting the consumers loyalty is the best strategy for a firm that intends to win (Baker 2006). This is an economic advantage to the company and its stakeholders. They are able to secure a large portion of the market share for themselves.
3) A five-point outline of ‘Global framework for sustainable development” environmental policy.
Sustainable development should be attained no matter how hard and challenging it is. In the policy of sustainable development for the environment, four major factors should be addressed. The framework would mainly look at the climate change; it is a major environmental change that is affecting the world so emissions should be minimized globally. Oceans harbor a large aquatic live, reforms should be put in place to protect the oceans and water masses from the waste that is disposed there as well as attain sustainable fishing worldwide.
Ecosystem creates a place for us to live and function well. A balance in the ecosystem is necessary so their resilience should be increased. All the systems in the globe that add up to an ecosystem should be sustained and maintained. The policy includes looking out for health measures, any corporate that is responsible for any health hazards due to its emissions should be made responsible of their actions(Glasson, Therivel, & Chadwick, 2013) Actually the policy shall not allow exposure of harmful pollutant to an individual’s health.
Finally strong measures shall be put in place to ensure that every person acts in an appropriate way so as to protect and sustain our environment. Partnerships shall be encouraged so as to create a single platform for the industry leaders and players to offer their best in sustainable development.
4) Would you support legislation requiring the use of international agreements to control and prevent pollution?
It is always safer to control and prevent outcome if its consequences are negative. Pollution has been a great vice globally and its negative impacts are already being felt. The rise of industrialization and the increased population has led to environmental pollution and over stretch of the available resources (Glasson, Therivel, & Chadwick, 2013) This is clearly harmful for the environment and the ecosystem we live in.
Any legislation available that can be used to curb the level of pollution should be used. So Yes I do support the legislation that requires the use of international agreements to control and prevent pollution. Some may not support these since they feel that some countries have played a major role in pollution and hence creating global warming but they have not paid enough for it (Baker 2006).
But I support the international agreement since it gives a single platform for all the countries to abide by the rules. Some countries, for example, the developing countries have weak environmental rules hence they do not control pollution. These agreements can be used as a tool to address the flaws in the government laws of an environment.
Countries become each other’s watchdog and they are able to maintain the balances of every country. In this way, there will be a single control with a single motive of controlling and reducing the pollution being experienced. An agreement makes people equal partners and so the more agreement there are the more the relationship will increase.
Countries are able to learn from other countries on which methods are best to use to control pollution. They borrow technologies and ideas from each other hence making the exercise of controlling pollution more friendly and it gets easier for all parties. Hence, legislation supporting international agreements as a tool to control and prevent pollution should be accepted encouraged and used by nations.
5) Is global environmental security necessary in order to achieve national security?
According to Gemenne, Barnett, Adger, &Dabelko, (2014) in their article, for nations to achieve national security, environmental security should be enhanced too. Environmental stress leads to national security as it results to conflicts. All the conflicts and insecurity cases reported are due to resources. An increase in population is exerting a lot of pressure on the scarce land. This brings about fights on the lands creating boundary conflicts between neighboring communities. Countries that share inland water body masses have had clashes over the boundaries as both countries are after maximum extraction of the fish.
Refugees move a lot due to resource depletion and environmental degradation, as much as people may look at it as a political because it is environmental. National that are known to have a lot of refugees in other countries are those nations that do not have enough resources. Hunger, poverty and injustices are also caused by environmental insecurities. If there are no enough resources then there will be less to consume. Making people poor and to be hunger stricken, poverty and hunger leads to many people committing crimes as they want to cater for their basic needs (Gemenne, Barnett,Adger, & Dabelko, 2014).
Hunger is brought about by low production of foods, this being an effect of overuse of lands or exploitation of the soils nutrients through soil erosion. The environmental stress caused by people settling in areas that are not for settlement has brought negative effects. The cutting down of trees lead to desertification and change in climatic patterns.
It is from these challenges of environmental insecurity that lead people into fighting for the little that is available. People because selfish and corrupt as they want to keep the larger share of the inadequate resources. So to attain national security the global environmental security should also be addressed.
6) Pieces of advice in my speech on the people on television and youtube
My speech to the people out there on environmental issues would be as follows; it is from the environment that we get the resources to sustain our lives; it is still the environment that cleans up our system. The Mother Nature was balanced but our activities as human beings have caused the imbalances in the system and now we are paying the price of doing so.
Limited resources, change in our life expectancy, endangered wild animals and national insecurity are but a few of the challenges we are facing due to environmental degradation. It is upon us to take care of what is taking care of us instead of misusing it and causing harm instead of it causing good to us. Campaigns have been out there on how to take care of the environment, everyone knows what should be done and if you know person who does not know please take time and help them. It is upon everyone to take an initiative and do well to the environment it does not take much to protect and be environmental friendly.
References
Baker, S. (2006). Sustainable Development. London: Routledge.
Bortman, M. (2003. Environmental Encyclopedia. Detroit: Gale.
Environmental Defense Fund.(2000). Environmental Defense Newsletter. New York, NY.
Gemenne, F., Barnett, J., Adger, W. N., &Dabelko, G. D. (2014). Climate and security: evidence, emerging risks, and a new agenda. Climatic Change, 123(1): 1-9.
Gifford, C. (2004). Sustainable Development. Oxford: Heinemann Library.
Glasson, J., Therivel, R., & Chadwick, A. (2013).Introduction To Environmental Impact Assessment. Routledge.

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