The environmental issues can be defined as the interruption of the ecosystem, in through unethical business practices (Lussier, Lussier, & Sherman, 2009). Business form key cornerstone in the growth of the society, where they harness resources that give way for social development and welfare. Through their commercial endeavors, business operations lead to the progress of the society (Painter-Morland, 2013). However, modern businesses face a number of issues related to environmental and social implications of their operations. The environmental issues that modern businesses face include air and water pollution, erosion, emission of wastes into waters, global warming, deforestation and destruction of biodiversity. While most of these challenges are industry specific, they are bound to affect the operations of every business and the society. In response, most businesses have developed strategic response to these environmental problems in form of sustainability efforts and creation of a sense of shared responsibility, among other efforts.
Air and Water Pollution
Although the issue of pollution is a global problem, most of it is caused by the actions of multinational companies, who in their process of mining, and other commercial businesses, emit their wastes into the air and waterways (Lussier, Lussier, & Sherman, 2009, p. 480). Most large factories produce wastes into the air causing accumulation of carbon into the ozone layer. The accumulation of carbon in the air has been blamed for increasing global warming. Global warming has become a challenge and many developed nations have created concerted efforts in order to prevent the continued destruction of the protective layer in the atmosphere through waste emissions into the air.
According to (Gupta, 2015), most of the United States waterways and air is polluted and remain unsafe for swimming and fishing. The author attributed these to the disposal of wastes from steel companies, oil mining companies and commercial residences. Moreover, the increased mechanization and the use of carbon fuel are the major contributors of air and water pollution. Although the companies involved in the commercial and other resource utilization are benefiting in terms of increased profit, the destruction of environment through pollution is becoming a major challenge owing to the increased regulations governing production of harmful wastes and the need to contribute to wellbeing of the society.
Read also Clean Water Act
Destruction of Biodiversity
The issue loss of biodiversity has become a global problem that businesses face. Most multinational companies are blamed for placing less emphasis on environmental protection, while they place more emphasis on resource utilization and profit maximization. Most loss of biodiversity is attributed to unethical resource utilization, for example, deforestation, marine and offshore damping of wastes, oil spills and production and use of non-degradable materials like polythene and plastics.
According to (Lussier, Lussier, & Sherman, 2009), the society is the consumer of the products and services of these multinational companies and is part of the destruction of the biodiversity. Most of the losses of biodiversity cast a bleak future for business continuity and society growth. Oil spills has lead to loss of marine diversification, has lead to loss of arable land and this pose a threat of loss of a source of livelihood, pesticides produced by companies pose ecological and environmental destruction by releasing toxins into the air. However, the businesses face dwindling resource base and loss of market due to continued campaigns against their unethical environmental and production processes.
Unsustainable Development and Use of Raw Materials
As much as businesses need resources for creation of goods and services, the society need the resources for the welfare. Water is a crucial resource yet it is unequally distributed and most companies still exercise unsustainable use of water and waterways (Lussier, Lussier, & Sherman, 2009). Moreover, other resources are continually being harvested in a way that does not take into consideration their future availability. Most oil companies have shown little or no efforts in developing alternative sources of fuel despite the fact that oil is nonrenewable resource. Land mechanization has placed little emphasis on soil erosion and sedimentation of landmasses. Most of the land and other resource uses pose numerous unsustainability and ethical issues. However, most companies have come up with strategies to counter most of the challenges mentioned therein.
Strategies to Mitigate the Environmental Issues that Businesses and Society Face
Most companies have created environmental strategic plans in order to respond to the challenges of the environment to their businesses and the societies they serve (Maclean, 2009). Example good strategic plans are the numerous sustainability efforts that have been adopted by the various companies. Most car manufacturers have responded to the tough environmental protection laws by producing automobiles that consume less fuel and release minimal amounts of carbon into the atmospheres (Japan Fact Sheet, 2015). An excellent example is the General Motors, Toyota and Siemens companies, which have intensified their efforts towards production of products that consume less energy while reducing wastes into the atmosphere.
The other strategy is the creation of partnership between the business and the society is development and environmental protection. Most of these partnerships come in form of corporate social responsibility (Gössling, 2011), where the businesses invest back in efforts such as planting of trees and cleaning the environmental wastes. These corporate social responsibilities are important business strategies that aim to create a sense of shared value in the society, where the businesses appreciate the importance of the resources and their actions towards the wellbeing of the society.