The Modern Green Movement is distinguished by its actions for combating the cataclysmic consequence of climate changes, by conducting global environmental events, conservation of natural resources, preservation of the environment, and overcoming the green gas issues. The consciousness of the people has become more intense now, yet, most of the environmental issues remain unresolved. And the chemically contaminated water and foods, genetically altered seeds, and other problems are putting the daily lives in dangerous conditions. To make matters worse, most of the natural resources dwindle, while the climate change plays havoc. The Modern Green Movement is convincing people, to embrace a lifestyle that is not harmful to the environment, and their general health conditions. In order to counter the effects of environmental pollution, it is a necessity to conserve what is left, surrounding us. Individuals, groups, communities, institutions, states and international organizations are encouraging people to go green, by choosing organic foods, renewable energy, and recycling, along with conserving the natural resources and preserving the biodiversities. These are links to efficient living, and to keep this planet Earth, in the way we saw it in yesteryears (Genziuk, 2012).
The green movement
Today, the green movement is redefined and galvanized in addressing issues like global warming, climate change, preservation of the wetlands, the proliferation of nuclear weapons, hydraulic fracturing, depletion of fisheries, extinction of species, and many other important environmental problems. What distinguishes the current green movement from the previous conservation movement is the emphasis it gives to science and research. Speaking in saintly tones, and articulating the religious metaphors, the former environmentalists like Muir and Thoreau, really, worshiped nature for its deep impact on our senses and souls (Lallanilla, 2014). Nevertheless, now, we use the scientific data and empirical studies to strengthen the arguments in support of wilderness preservation, or in protest against the polluting industries. Politicians cite the studies of the polar researchers and apply computerized climate models to fight the global warming, whereas, the medical researchers seek public health statistics to litigate over mercury pollution. The success or failure of these arguments depends, after all, on the vision, the passion, motivation, and the commitment of the persons build up the green movement (Lallanilla, 2014).
At the global level, there is an increase in awareness about the rising deployment of renewable energy, as well as energy efficiency, which is crucial in addressing climate change, providing new economic and commercial opportunities, and extending energy facility to the people having no modern energy services. Though there are no efficient and reliable theories to support, renewable energy is an important factor of climate change adaptation, enhancing the resilience of the ongoing energy systems, as well as, and guaranteeing the supply of energy services in the changing climatic conditions (REN21, 2015). The energy obtained from natural resources, includes biomass, wind, sunlight, rain, tides, hydro power and geothermal heat, and is renewable through natural processes. The renewable energy technologies, such as solar power, wind power, hydroelectricity, biomass and bio-fuels, provide energy for electricity generation, air and water heating and cooling, transportation, and rural off-grid energy services.
Renewable energy resources are available over vast geographical regions, when compared to other energy sources. REN21, which is the sole renewable energy policy multi-stakeholder network in the world, has links with a wide range of key players, at global level. It facilitates knowledge exchange, policy generation, and joint action for a quick global transition to renewable energy. It associates with international bodies, governments, non-governmental organizations, individuals, groups, communities, research and academic institutions, as well as industries to learn from one another, and to build the necessary infrastructure for the advancement of renewable energy. To encourage policy decision making, it provides relevant quality information, supports discussion and debate, and helps developing thematic networks (REN21, 2015).
How Solar and Wind farms contribute to the green movement
According to the 2015 report of REN21, the renewable energy accounted for about 58.5% of global power capacity in 2014, with considerable growth in all regions, and the market was dominated by Wind, solar PV, and hydro power. At the year end, renewable energy attained 27.7% of the world’s electricity generating capacity, which was enough to deliver around 22.8% of the global power. Renewable energy made 19.1% of global net energy consumption in the year 2013, and the capacity to generate continued to swell in the year 2014. Heating capacity grew evenly, and the generation of bio-fuels in the field of transport showed an increase for the second consecutive year, though it slowed down in 2011–2012. It was found that rapid growth and rise in capacity, happened in the power sector, which was led by wind, solar PV, and hydro power (REN21, 2015).
It is not possible to solve the issues of Climate change, biodiversity degradation, and depletion of natural resources, by dealing each separately. Land and marine ecosystems have a decisive role to play in capturing about half of the total carbon dioxide emissions produced by human activities (UNEP, 2009). Protecting the biodiversities actually preserves the ecosystem services that regulate the climate, thereby making us to adapt to the effects of climate change. Increasing the energy output from renewable sources will reduce the pressure on ecosystems, and will cause slowing down of climate changes. Therefore, our efforts to deal with the climate change and ecosystem depletion will bring benefits to each other (Science for Environment Policy, 2015).
It is also mandatory, while achieving strategic plans to reduce the loss of natural habitats, to design conservation models like Natura 2000, for facilitating sustainable development through the inclusion of people and infrastructure in the protected areas. To achieve this, the economic and social activities should be conceived in a way to meet the conservation objectives of the sites. After suitable assessments, if it is found that a plan or project could threaten the integrity of the site, the development should override the public interest, provided there is no alternative solution, and compensation is guaranteed against the damaging effects of the project (Science for Environment Policy, 2015).
Challenges in Green Movement
In spite of all these efforts, there can be conflicts between renewable energy and nature conservation policies. Sometimes, by implementing wind and solar farms there are chances of losing or fragmenting important habitats. Also, the occurrences of bird and bat collisions with wind turbines cannot be left out. Therefore, it is essential to handle the problems of wind and solar development threatening the land-based ecosystems. There should be some win-win solutions to enhance conservation and climate benefits, as it is not possible to tackle the biodiversity loss without addressing climate change. The transition from generating fossil fuels to renewable energies, such as wind and solar, is a necessity for controlling global warming and climate change. Therefore, effective strategic planning and project-by-project evaluation are required to develop renewable energy and the conservation of natural resources, as well as meeting the restoration goals, by minimizing the problems of negative impacts on biodiversity and habitats, caused by the energy installations (Science for Environment Policy, 2015).
Meeting renewable energy goals and preserving biodiversity, generate challenges and opportunities at international, national, regional and local levels. Some countries have achieved good progress, while others have fallen behind in developing renewable energy infrastructure. Short term renewable energy production reduces carbon emissions, but its long term effects are not well understood. The researches in this field suggest that solar and wind energy has space-intensive, and estimate that a solar power requires 37km2 to produce one Terawatt-hour, each year, while wind energy requires 72km2. Coal power wants 10km2 to generate this amount of energy, whereas, a nuclear power needs only 2km2. However, these figures are location oriented and do not consider other direct or indirect environmental impacts. A further challenge is the development power grids to cope with renewable energy generation. Involving local communities, transparent decision-making and managing expectations in these will bring results. Though Europe retains the major market share, activities continue in other regions. In the year 2014, China, India, Brazil and South Africa made tremendous progress in renewable energy installations (REN21, 2015).
The effects of climate change, pollution and depletion of on-renewable natural resources, has increased the environmental awareness of the people all over. The consumers now know about the damage done to the environment by businesses in their pursuit of profit. These businesses now adhere to green practices, subsequent to the pressure give by the governmental institutions and consumer groups. As a result of this, policies that protect the environment are being promulgated globally.
Businesses have become sustainable businesses by going green to promote and protect the environment. Sustainable businesses look forward to economic development that brings profits and satisfy the needs of the current generation, while taking steps to safeguard the environment for future generations. Sustainability is the major goal for businesses, as a sustainable practice strengthens the business reputation, improves the morale of the employees, makes everything cost-effective, and benefits the environment. This sustained growth is adopted by them through governmental regulations, for one reason, and the foreknowledge, they hold seeing the economic benefits in preventing pollution or recognizing the importance of environmental issues.
The purpose of going green is simply using the products and methods, which would not harm the environment either through pollution or by depleting any natural resources. If the resources are reduced by using other sources, such processes will bring outcomes like making the environmental footprint small, waste reduction, making re-usable materials. It will also force them to be very vigil in using scarce natural resources efficiently and cost effectively. Green businesses must have green visions, strategic plans with long-term objectives. In today’s global business environment, going green means creating social consciousness for conserving the Earth’s natural resources, and preserving them to keep running the civilization (Smith & Perks, 2010).
Pros and Cons of green practice
Green practice is beneficial for the health of our planet, which includes people, animals, and bio-diversities. It reduces pollution, and preserves the natural resources. The future generations will be getting a healthier world to live in, and at the same time the planet will get more time to sustain life forms on it. Living green is inexpensive; though may be costly, in the initial stage. One can save money on water, electricity, and gas, among other things, according to one’s living style. By utilizing the innovations and the new technologies, the going green, will ultimately save the economy of the state. Above all, you will feel better about the person you are, as it benefits not only you, but also, others, and the whole environment.
The Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) can introduce competent risk management to identify the risks through auditing, analyzing and reporting on a business about its environmental, social and economic strengths, more effectively. Sustainability reporting and transparency are excellent attributes to be displayed during recruiting employees. It also helps a company in fund raising, through charity drives, etc. Green businesses are flourishing world wide, due to recognition of consistent green improvement, licensing, integration and certification for green businesses, and the commitment to sustainability issues. More people are committing to greener living and this booms the green market. Since accessibility to green products increase, the cost of the products will tend to change in due course (The pros and cons of a green business).
However, going green is time consuming. It entirely will change your outlook, the lifestyle, and force you to discard some of your habits or luxuries. Installations like wind and solar will absorb more space and invite more supplies. The green technologies and their products are new and expensive. Therefore, the initial investment for adopting green practice will be high, though it will be cost effective in the long run. Also, you need to research or require another person’s support for going green altogether. If the green technologies become very common, most of the products of the other technologies will vanish from the market, and so, many other industries will have to close down (A Green Home Is A Healthy Home).
Policies and incentives given by the government and other organizations
Historical data reveal that sustainable practices, which are founded on environmental laws, have been in use by the companies, since several years back, like England’s Clean Air Act of 1956. Its purpose was to lessen the pollution of air. This regulation insisted to remove black chimney and smoke from furnaces. Businesses were convicted for disobeying the Act. The United States, following this Act, introduced the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 and the Environmental Quality Improvement Act, (EQIA) of 1970. These Acts helped the businesses “enact operating practices which would help with prevention, abatement, and control of environmental pollution, water and land resources, transportation, and economic and regional development” (Stephenson & Rodriquez, n.d.).
The Oil Pollution Act of 1990, limited the damages caused by oil pollution, and established a national fund for loaning to businesses to pay for the cleanup costs if oil spills occurred. The government found that the companies could not afford such oil spills, the task being costly, and the damages would be long-term. Thus, sustainable practices took form as movements, and these have begun gaining traction in the present corporate setting of green practice (Stephenson & Rodriquez, n.d.)
Costs and benefits
Going green means using green production practices like alternative energy, reduced waste, preserving water, low carbon emissions, less pollution, etc. Companies promote sustainable practices of paper recycling, reducing carbon footprints, and introducing provisions for charitable causes for maintaining a social equilibrium for the environment. The social pressures for inventing more and more environmentally potential and sustainable business practices are getting popularity in recent years. It is essential for these businesses to uphold such practices, as there are competitors, actively participating in the play. But, instead of businesses going eco-friendly, they are becoming eco-frenzy (Stephenson & Rodriquez, n.d.).
Accounting and reporting on costs in sustainability involves the maintaining of a sustainable scale of economic activity, which is relative to its ecological life support, wherein, a fair and efficient allocation of resources and opportunities for the present and future generations is provided. Sustainability consists of three aspects, namely, economical, social, and environmental. Over time, businesses have made remarkable improvement in their sustainable outcomes by sharing the available scarce ecosystem, considering the fact that it will be diminished soon, and not the economic project. Management accounting gives only insufficient information to decision-makers, while making informed decisions, as they do not include the cost-benefit effects of any such sustainable environmental practices (Stephenson & Rodriquez, n.d.).
The green trend in organizations
Recently, the business communities have begun to go green by acquiring several environment management techniques. As the corporate world is all global, the business is shifting from conventional financial structure to the latest capacity-based economy. Green Human Resource Management (GHRM) is a key business strategy, today, where Human Resource Departments play a major role going green at the office. Ecological consciousness is invading all dimensions of our lives and workplaces. The corporate sector is a major stakeholder in dealing the environmental issues, while it acts as a solution to the problems relating to the environment. GHRM is a manifesto, capable of creating a green workforce that understands the green culture in any organizations. For implementing any sort of corporate environmental program, different units of the organization, such as the HR, Marketing, IT, Finance etc., work together to get the desired result. This is how the corporate world becomes a major stakeholder in the discussion of environmental issues.
Nowadays, the increased trend of corporate bodies in greening the business, the modern HR managers are given additional responsibility of inclusion of the Green HR philosophy in all corporate missions and HR policies. These changes are explicit in their environmental initiatives and written policy statements, environmental opportunities, marketing strategies, investments, auditing, product design and development, and other production processes. Green procedures and policies add further initiatives in the already existing green practices. Green HR involvement has revolutionized efficiencies, productivity, cost reduction, and other tangible outcomes (Ahmad, 2015).
Arguments for green practice
Development is a dynamic concept, which necessitates depleting the resources. So, leave the countries like China or India. They can only develop unsustainably, as they want to burn coal. To ask the entire third world to commit to sustainable development means damning them to poverty. They will follow, when the west picks up the bill. So pick it, now!
Climate change is not a political game, ping-pong. The country needs to have a vision in the matter of carbon emissions, freedom in energy, and broadened economic structures. It is planning. Without it, we are lost. If you think, the environmentalism is nonsense, and that you reduce the emissions, you would be wasting your time. For, I know the future generations will be born into a doomed planet. See, environmentalism is a very sensible choice (Mandel, 2015).
We are warming up the planet. The scientific evidence is overpowering. A global calamity is real and imminent. Humans are myopic. See the Easter Island! It’s a warning. The same myopia is evident globally. Let the G20 protesters interpret climate change. The evils of capitalism and the capitalist state must not flourish. Food must be organic. Trade should be controlled. Air travel and car use should be diminished. The majority of people are unmoved. Worse, it is. The scientific warnings are right. The goal should be sustainable development; to grow economically, to pass the globe on to the coming generation in the same way we found it (Hutton, 2012).
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