CONSUMERISM AND ENVIRONMENTALISM 4
Theindustrial revolution was a leap that came along with majorrepercussions it led to dramatic changes in the European society.The effects of the revolution on the environment, however, cannot gounnoticed even in the contemporary societies. Companies laid muchemphasis on the production and satisfaction of the consumersneglecting the threats their processes had on the environment tothem, the consumers came first. However, in the constantly changingglobal and culturally diverse environment, consumers are increasinglyinterested in the environmental impact of what they purchase. Theyare critically looking at the producers` efforts towardsenvironmental pollution, which is a threat to their lives. This hasmade the companies establish measures to lower the impacts of theirproducts on the environment while at the same time make competitiveprofits. In this paper, I am going to argue on how companies canfocus on both consumerism and environmentalism the arguments will befrom both local and global evidence.
Oneof the chief measures taken by companies to give equal attention tothe consumers and the environment is the Voluntary Approach (Anton2004, p.27-31). Voluntary measures vary in a number of ways aspecific example is when the state and the production companiesnegotiate and reach a consensus on the emission reduction goals. Thisis evident in Japan in form of Japan`s Pollution Control Agreement.Local governments have used this approach to lure corporation withintheir jurisdiction to reduce pollution. Their voluntary participationin environmental programs assures them of one advantage once theirnames are announced to the public, their reputation to consumersbecomes friendly making the brand popular.
Similarly,under this approach many industries have embraced the ISO14001, astandardization program adopted in 1996 to curb environmental damage.This system has led to reduction of emissions to the environment.Basing on the evidence from research carried out in Japan and in theUnited States in 2005, it is clear that ISO certification hasimmensely reduced the amount of solid wastes released to theenvironment (Morgenstern 2007, p.67-69). Certified companies havelabels, which are earned after auditing of their activities. TheISO14001 labels on the products make them legitimate in the marketshence, such they (products) witness high sells.
Anothermeasure taken by local and global companies is conscientization ofthe public (Welch 2002, p.401-421). Many companies under the tag of‘GO GREEN’ have been engaging in campaigns to create awareness onthe impacts of environmental degradation. They have been involved inrallies, seminars, races, tournaments, and walks to reach people.Posters, t-shirts, bags, and pamphlets have been printed in order toemancipate the masses. This approach has been used as a marketingstrategy by the involved corporations as they also enlighten peoplethe importance of environmental conservation.
Inconclusion, it is clear that companies can create a win-win situationby conserving the environment, and at the same time makingcompetitive profits. This is evident from the above discussion wherethe corporations adopt the voluntary approach and also carry outawareness campaigns.
Anton,W. 2004, Incentives for Environmental Self-regulation andConsequences on Environmental Act, Journalof Environmental Economics and Management,48, 632-654.
Morgenstern,R. 2007,Thenature and performance of voluntary ecological programs in the UnitedStates, Europe, and Japan,RFF Press, Washington, D.C.
Welch,E, 2002, Japanese Voluntary Environmental Agreements: BargainingPower and Reciprocity as Contributors to Effectiveness, PolicyScience,35(4), 401-424.