Journal: Ecology of Commerce

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¶ … Hawkens (1992) tells us that business has generally been seen as the problem to the environment, and whilst that is true, business may also be a part of the solution.

At the moment, our present industrial economy is still in it beginning ecological stages where it is struggling to become something more sophisticated and substantial. In order to become so, Hawkens tell us, businesses will have to deal with and assess what they take (I..e input), what they make (I..e products / services), and what they waste. Chapter 2 deals with what businesses take. A business, like an organism, takes food and energy from the environment, but it consumes other renewable and non-renewable resources. It plunders the ecosystem in various ways. More so despite government regulations and attempts by activists, businesses have refused to face environmental issues and their responsibilities. Economic success is measured by growth and synonymous with that is plundering the environment.

Business, however, is, in reality, "an efficient form of human endeavor with so many positive attributes, that it is difficult to comprehend how it has become so destructive" (57). industry sees environmentalism as slowing down its growth, but the concepts of industrial ecology can help businesses realize that the reverse is the case. Industrial ecology states that industrial processes that harm and waste are generally less economical and more costly in the long run. A cheaper and more economical way for industry is to tailor manufacturing by-products so that the y become the raw material of later processes. In other words, for instance, one recycles waste into useful products.

Many companies indeed are beginning to recognize that "clean, less wasteful, more efficient manufacturing methods result in lower costs, greater savings, and increased productivity whilst enhancing workplace safety." (81).

In this way, competition need not entail destructing the environment in order to 'progress'. On he contrary, destructing the environment may prove economically costly to the industry too, and it may better succeed by practicing greater environmental concern.

Chapter 6 discusses the general Agreement of Tariffs and Trade (GATT) whose purpose has been to stimulate international trade by lowering tariffs and trade. Reading the small script of GATT, however, shows us that it does not encourage free trade as some might think and that it also threatens the global environment amongst other ills.

The government and private individuals have time and… [END OF PREVIEW]

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