THE ARMENIAN KING WHO RULED MADRID IN THE 14TH CENTURY.16 de January de 2024
THE 45TH PRESIDENT OF THE USA AND THE ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL PERSUASION OF THE PUBLICS.17 de January de 2024
THE VOICE OF ECONOMIC SCIENCE IN THE FACE OF THE LIMITS OF LIFE ON THE PLANET.
Presentation of the topic and its significant relevance. 1.2 - Objectives of the presentation at the Racef.
2. GLOBAL CONTEXT
- Statistics and data on environmental degradation.
- Planetary boundaries and their implications.
3. COMPANIES AND THE ENVIRONMENT. THE ROLE OF COMPANIES IN THE SPANISH ENVIRONMENTAL CRISIS OF DIFFICULT CONVERSION DUE TO OBSOLESCENCE IN MANUFACTURING.
- The role of companies in the global environmental crisis.
- Examples of companies with sustainable approaches.
4. RISKS AND OPPORTUNITIES IN THE NEW SUSTAINABLE ECONOMY.
- The financial risks of not addressing sustainability in time.
- New opportunities for innovation and sustainable development.
- Summary of key points.
- Call to action and recommendations for companies.
1.1- PRESENTATION OF THE TOPIC AND ITS RELEVANCE:
If I were to give a voice to economic sciences regarding the limits of life on the planet, I would give it to three figures and an institution: the World Bank's chief economist Nicholas Stern and the two Nobel Laureates in Economics William D. Nordhaus and Paul Romer.
Regarding the institution, it is essential to consider the serious and substantiated warnings of the World Bank reports, which can be summarized in this sentence: “the impacts of climate change could push 100 million people into poverty by 2030.” This implies uncontrolled migration fleeing countries with no future in search of job opportunities, health, and hope for a better life, but on the other hand, chaos in the global economy, a new world reconfiguration, and a significant mixing of races and cultures, as well as the resulting clashes of cultures and civilizations.
We must not doubt for a moment that what happens today in a country seeking a sustainable economy can affect the rest of the world, and we must emphasize that it is primarily the consumption habits of the population that partly shape the new planet, yes, a new planet that is changing the landscape, including its nature, i.e., forests, jungles, rivers, lakes, and much more, at a rapid pace.
The increasingly common changes in human and animal feeding habits, since even the fodder for animals counts in terms of pollution, and their growing frequency, is worrying. Despite public opinion's lack of awareness, entire countries are being reconfigured. Let's look at an example of the thousands that happen every day: some public relations specialists persuade Americans to consume more bananas for their potassium and magnesium properties beneficial to health, and fruit wholesalers see that Americans can consume them all year round. Why not sell them if it's also a good business? Let's analyze the consequences, according to the organization One Green Planet, when its statistics say that the average American consumes 100 bananas a year. Consequently, as entrepreneurs, we must buy bananas and import them from different countries on the planet, whether or not it is the season, and offer them to American consumers because the consumption business cannot stop. The shocking conclusion is that on average, a banana that we put in our mouths to eat in the U.S. travels 8,217 Kilometers with the corresponding CO2 pollution, and the same happens with thousands of foods like coffee, avocado, almond milk, rice, sugar, soy, beef, and yes, as it cannot be otherwise, all are healthy foods but destroy the planet. In other words, we can afford it, but the planet cannot. Globalization embraces foods from distant countries and abandons seasonal local foods with the consequent ecological disasters as each trendy product reshapes the planet anew. Just the consumption of soy in Spain deforests 40,000 hectares of jungle.
The work of Nicholas Stern, former chief economist of the World Bank, reveals that the world's and its leaders' most serious failure was and is not having foreseen, as well as not preventing and continuing to pollute. Knowing, moreover, that scientifically and through constant greenhouse gas emissions, we are causing the end of the planet.
A situation that must be stopped or will be stopped by the inclemencies of the weather itself, creating a new climate of desolation with increased torrential rains, severe droughts, hurricanes, fires, disproportionate hailstorms, snowfalls, tidal waves, tsunamis, volcanoes, or what we could call the planet's revolution to save itself and warn us of what is coming.
The economic model of Nobel Prize winners in economics William D. Nordhaus and Paul Romer was very justly awarded for being the first to integrate global warming into the interaction between economic development and warming, providing solutions such as the one we want to highlight: the recommendation to mandatorily put a deterrent price on carbon to quickly incentivize businesses to adapt to change. Capital always seeks security and would adapt to change, because you either adapt or disappear.
The inexorable economic impact that is occurring on the planet due to global warming caused by pollution produced by consumption and the type of consumption and even by sometimes unnecessary consumption of humans and the companies producing them is very significant and multifaceted.
It is a reality that public opinion increasingly accepts and does not question about warming. In Spain, as proof of this, only 2% of the population, according to a survey conducted by the journal Global Environmental Change, deny this warming.
It is fair to recognize that the strong lobbies prevalent in Spain and Europe are the ones responsible for effectively stopping large polluting multinationals from stopping and continuing to pollute. The strategies to continue polluting are many and varied and widely studied and, consequently, good, threatening with massive job losses, depopulation of cities, and many other realities that must be addressed quickly and in time, but while it is difficult for politicians to make decisions, meanwhile, pollution continues and continues with dangerous figures.
There are many contradictory paradoxes, such as not allowing polluting cars to circulate in city centers, but on the other hand, allowing those same leaders to import foods that destroy life in other countries and our own.
Without going any further, the fact of recklessly introducing animal species from different parts of the planet as pets, without studying their severe consequences when they escape or are released in our country, disrupts our forest. Moreover, if we talk about farms of imported animals such as minks and then released by groups that claim to be ecologists, the damage to the ecosystem in those areas is devastating. Paradoxes of a global non-sustainable economy that every day reconfigures and takes its toll.
During the past months of June, July, and August of 2023, the heat mercilessly struck the planet due to human intervention in terms of pollution, and as a consequence, the hottest months recorded in Spain and the world were those. While we write this work in the middle of October, temperatures reach 30 degrees while the population unusually bathes on our beaches, and our farmers delay their farming activities and planting with late seeds, marking an inexorable before and after.
Consequently, the warming factor affects and will affect our economy even more if possible and forces us even to change our habits progressively, having to adapt to this climate change, and we must be the first interested in preventing this from happening, otherwise, we will enter a phase of climatic self-destruction seriously affecting our fields and agriculture, which already suffers in different types of plantations as our seas already suffer with plastics and microplastics.
So much so that this climate change has consequences that are already being perceived and affecting our own agricultural soils, drying up very quickly in Spain and emptying our reservoirs, with most of our hydrographic resources well below the desired level. In Catalonia, the average today is 19%.
As a consequence, we have reached shameful figures in terms of percentage because having a water reserve at 37% on average in Spain is a chronicle of what is to come. Consequently, if we add to all the above the excessive pesticides that our farmers use with the permission of the European Union regulations despite their danger and we change indigenous crops for others that did not exist before, we are changing our nature for another. These new crops require more water, such as avocado, mango, and others, and consequently, we are drying up our reservoirs, our subsoils, and our rivers that flow with less flow, and that consequently are destroying our subsoils with the consequent loss of flora and fauna that was already very affected by invasive species also introduced by man himself and that adapt to the good climate and environment existing propitious for them.
The problem lies in the fact that raising awareness and persuading public opinion by generating credibility and trust around stopping rampant pollution caused by humans is very difficult because it involves sacrifice. The fact of not polluting seems to be a difficult, very difficult task, just as it is convincing about responsible consumption and recycling to a large population that has other interests, such as subsisting month by month, given the current inflation and interest rates exceeding 4%.
We must become aware of recycling, although this recycling alone was only of plastics, it would already avoid much. Without going any further, according to the WWF, Spain still pours 126 tons of plastics a day into the Mediterranean, or in other words, 46,000 tons annually, a real ecological disaster.
The only solution to mitigate this excessive runaway consumption in Spain, coupled with the pollution produced by this consumption, focuses on the three "R's" Repair, Rebuild, Recycle. Freshwater being a natural resource in real danger of disappearing, so we must urgently stop the greenhouse effect as the ice of the Arctic is melting and its huge reserves of freshwater.
Therefore, it is very important to note in this work for the RACEF that during this last decade from 2010 to 2020 on our planet, according to Copernicus and the World Meteorological Organization, since we have rigorous and scientifically demonstrable data, devastating climatic phenomena with serious risks of hurricanes, rains, and intense snowfalls in very short periods of time have been manifested.
These climate changes translate into catastrophic results in terms of floods, but also in significant losses of lives for the cities that suffer them and consequently also for their economy as they break budgets and business and economic expectations, in addition to irreparable damage to their cities.
1.2 Impacts of global warming on the new economy.
Here we present from the podium that the Royal Academy of Economic and Financial Sciences offers us today some of the main ways in which these issues of global warming, which we have just exposed in the introduction of this previous work, affect and will affect companies and consequently the economy of our country and others.
1.2.1 Operating costs increase in industry and companies:
Companies and industry, in general, face higher economic costs never anticipated due to extreme weather events, such as hurricanes, sudden temperature changes, volcanoes, tectonic movements, floods, or droughts.
These events can disrupt the supply chain, damage infrastructure, and increase the costs of energy and fuels, being a chain that affects the whole society where our activities are carried out and that ultimately affects the family economy, generating economic crises and the inviability of society in general, businesses, and products.
1.2.2. Necessary regulations must be stricter:
Governments and regulators, being aware of the dangers of pollution, are imposing stricter laws related to greenhouse gas emissions and waste management that produce current pollution.
Companies must comply with these regulations, which often involve significant economic investments in cleaner technologies and more sustainable production practices.
It is important to highlight that sometimes a lack of adaptation may occur because if these changes are undertaken in the company and the regulations and laws force them to be implemented quickly, they may cease to be profitable since they may not have time to amortize these new investments, which in some sectors are added to new regulations every year.
1.2.3. Financial, economic, and business risks increase:
Companies that do not consider climate and environmental risks in their operations and strategies may face a very uncertain near future.
As the world advances, the financial risks of climate change are serious and sometimes lead to difficult business reconversion, even leading to the closure of companies, a reality that cannot be ignored.
As a consequence, environmental degradation can lead not only to business changes that require a new team of experts to adapt to changes but also to losses of assets and progressive devaluation of the brand as public opinion penalizes polluting companies, as it is already doing, but in a few years, this penalty may even turn into aggression towards companies that do not adapt.
1.2.4. Reputation and consumer demand:
Consumers are increasingly aware of and knowledgeable about environmental issues and consequently seek sustainable products and services in all aspects, even of their own lives, even informing themselves on social networks. Polluting companies known by the society where they carry out their activities and that do not adopt sustainable practices are already suffering damage to their reputation and losing market share. As an example, the increase in sales of electric cars in Spain; already 1,046 vehicles circulate in total and 10 million are sold worldwide each year, which means that recycling must be promoted and even made mandatory as a measure to mitigate excessive consumption of natural resources.
1.2.5. Innovation and market opportunities:
The fight against climate change and pollution also presents opportunities for companies. Innovation in clean technologies and the offer of environmentally friendly products and services can open up new markets and increase profitability when producing.
As a result, companies that use clean, emission-free alternative options using solar, wind, hydro, geothermal, biogas, biomass, and marine energy have much to gain.
1.2.6. Vulnerable supply chain:
Climate change can affect the availability and quality of resources used in a company's supply chain, which can result in disruptions and serious, difficult-to-overcome additional costs. The main problem is the uncontrolled excess of natural resources, and according to National Geographic, every year, the natural resources of two planet Earths are consumed, which represents a lot for our present and future economy because we do not give time to regenerate what is consumed on Earth.
1.2.7. Limited natural resources:
The scarcity of natural resources, such as water and raw materials, can affect production and the availability of products, which in turn can influence costs and the profitability of companies, mainly in agricultural and livestock operations. Hence, the WWF requests the inclusion of the ecological footprint among economic and business indicators such as GDP to know and compare the true care of the environment with economic and sustainable growth.
Global warming and pollution have a significant impact on businesses and the economy of a country and its people and go beyond environmental concerns and the destruction of the planet. This can lead to a global reconfiguration with unprecedented migratory flows and famines.
Companies that adopt sustainable approaches and consider these factors in their business strategy may be better prepared to face these challenges and seize emerging opportunities in the face of increasingly demanding regulations.
Excessive consumption of food, oil, water, land, and minerals also causes extreme weather inclemencies and, as a consequence, desertification, lack of rainfall, poor harvests, famines, species extinction, migratory displacements, the disappearance of entire ecosystems, and many others.
Excessive consumption of a food product like soy in Spain can desertify areas and destroy forests for crop fields.
Raising public awareness by transmitting credibility and trust about the dangers of the destruction of life on the planet and the impact of the economic costs associated with people's lives is crucial to drive change, a great effort that, if not made, leads us to unprecedented self-destruction of the planet caused by humans.
With hope placed on human intelligence to put a stop to self-destruction before it's too late, and if human intelligence fails, we hope that artificial intelligence will warn us even more, if possible, for humans to take measures or directly carry it out by artificial means.
These objectives have been condensed into eight points:
Our planet is not ours, but it is our home, and we are consequently responsible for safeguarding it for future generations.
This change also affects not only third-world countries but also first-world countries, which, within the misfortune, will allow those countries that pollute the most to know that based on what they pollute, they will collect.
On September 29, 2023, New York City was surprised by a non-stop storm that turned its streets into real rivers with a high flow, consequently flooding the underground, its sewers, its various metro lines, and flooding its shops, in some places exceeding one meter of water, all due to climate change.
Each individual action we are capable of performing greatly reduces the pollution of the planet. Only pedagogy will prevent this self-destruction.
From reducing waste when shopping to choosing sustainable options, our daily choices can undoubtedly make a difference in preserving life on planet Earth.
The most commonly used methods by socially conscious people are not consuming products that are not recyclable, biodegradable, or simply pollute in their production. That's where a new opportunity for non-polluting companies arises. Promoting ecological awareness through education and knowledge transfer in our workspaces with ecological actions, such as using tablets that do not require paper printing, as well as having recycling bins available. In our homes, we should not leave plugs systematically connected to the grid if they are not in use. Shop responsibly. Do not throw away highly polluting products like oils, batteries, medicines, glitter, paints, plastic cups, clothes, and other objects of the same material.
The cost of environmental degradation is not measured only in economic terms but also in the loss of lives and biodiversity. The main causes of biodiversity loss in Spain are the sum of different factors and always due to human fault.
3.1 Predatory animals of nature empowered by humans:
The predation of native animals due to dogs and cats is a reality in our forests, which have increased considerably as dogs have reached 9.3 million and cats a total of 6 million.
The release and freedom granted by certain activist groups of entire mink farms and other animals that have destroyed our ecosystems by reproducing freely and ending our fauna.
The trade of imported species as pets of all kinds that have been released already exists, cataloged and reproducing about 112 species, ranging from mammals to reptiles, amphibians, and a long etc.
Animals that are already living by feeding and expelling our own native animals and severely harming them, such as the red crab, raccoon, American mink, bullfrog, Argentine parrot with a gray chest, Kramer's parrot, tiger mosquito, zebra mussel, apple snail, red-eared Florida turtles, pike, Asian hornet, and others of its family, others.
Based on the above, this makes 35% of vertebrate animal species endangered, 58% of fish, 25% of amphibians, 38% of reptiles, 16% of birds, 27% of mollusks, 22% of insects, and about 1800 plants, an attack against nature and its ecosystem that does not stop being there just because we do not see it.
Uncontrolled low-cost tourism promotes pollution versus income, and the expenses of consuming natural resources such as water, electricity, and others are higher than the benefits that can be generated for the cities that host them.
Allow an example of the many on the planet in Spain in the autonomous community of Palma de Mallorca, the oversaturation of cars is a big business. Currently, there are 1.5 million registered cars; In the summer season, between tourists' cars and rental cars, 120,000 more cars disembark, increasing pollution, and the same happens with the fleet of ships, planes, and the wear and tear of the island in terms of electricity consumption, water, air conditioning, pollution of its waters with body creams, and waste from uncivil tourists regarding the island.
But high-level tourism also pollutes. Without going any further, large ships and cruises are allowed to pollute much more than cars, as evidenced by the fact that they do so 3,600 times more, and not only in CO2 but they also emit large and serious amounts of ash, heavy metals, sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxide, and a long etc. A cruise pollutes more than four million cars, and a freighter emits the pollution of 50 million cars. The fifteen largest merchant ships in the world pollute as much as 760 million cars.
Ecologist city councils like the recently disappeared mayoralty of Barcelona by Ada Colau, being an anti-pollution party, allowed all the ships that docked in Barcelona during a year to pollute the air with three times more sulfur oxides than all the cars in the city of Barcelona. That is, each cruise emits in Europe as much pollution as almost five million cars.
The plane does not lag behind, as it is the most polluting means of transport and generates the most polluting emissions for the greenhouse effect.
3.3 Fishing, hunting, animal trafficking:
The increasingly frequent overexploitation of fishing with increasingly sophisticated ships equipped with radars and kilometric networks that allow knowing where the fishing is and from which the fish do not escape, together with poaching in the sea and our rivers, makes the planet and ecosystems take time to recover.
Hunting with the introduction of game species that did not exist before, both on land and water, and poaching, draw new forests that we do not know how they will be renewed.
The traffic of species prohibited by CITES treaty that are released in our nature ends mercilessly with our weakest species. But also species captured mercilessly in certain countries disappear, blurring their jungles as it is a lucrative business to capture and sell them to importing and exporting animal networks.
Pollution in general, but air pollution in particular, is already causing a serious risk of a large number of respiratory diseases, also cardiac and the dreaded lung cancers in Spain. In addition to the destruction of the environment.
In Spain, the serious number of people who are dying due to the release of contaminating particles by humans themselves, such as PM 2.5, through which 23,000 people die a year, and by releasing NO 2, the number of 6,250, and by ozone 1,820, is still not sufficiently known by the public.
According to WWF, our country, Spain, is guilty through the indirect method, that is, excessive consumption of soy, palm oil, and beef, not only of the atrocious pollution produced with its transport but also of the deforestation of 40,000 hectares a year, being an ecological disaster. How can we put on cigarette packs that it causes cancer? And on the other hand, not put on soy cartons or tetrabricks that its consumption deforests 40,000 hectares a year.
If we look at the European Union, it is guilty of 16% of global deforestation or, in other words, of the destruction of the jungle to become agricultural plantations, in turn fertilized with pesticides that make acidic and unproductive lands.
The deforestation produced by international trade in percentages is 24% China, 16% Europe, 9% India, 7% USA, and 5% Japan.
3.6 Climate change:
In the last 30 years in Spain, climate change and its corresponding temperature increase have posed a terrifying scenario for our economy with more than 30,000 million euros, as well as the destruction of fauna and flora, requiring companies to adapt quickly and based on sectors and their different regulations.
3.7 Pollution of ecosystems:
The excess of pesticides has led to the massive destruction of our entire ecosystem and its climatic stability, changing our seasons, linked to food security, and the disappearance of water, further desertifying wetlands, rivers, lakes, etc.
2. GLOBAL CONTEXT:
2.1 Statistics and data on environmental degradation.
The serious environmental degradation in the world is a critical concern that we must urgently address when analyzing statistics. Here some of the main problems with figures and percentages associated with this degradation are presented from this study:
2.2. Climate change:
The increase in greenhouse gas emissions is causing significant global warming. This leads to extreme weather conditions, sea-level rise while the level of swamps, lakes, rivers, streams, and reservoirs decreases, and consequently disturbances in ecosystems because if the river flows decrease, seawater rises and salinizes those lands while watering less.
2.3 Loss of biodiversity:
The loss of natural habitats, poaching, the introduction of species, and pollution of all kinds are leading to the extinction of many species.
Biodiversity is essential for the stability of ecosystems and food security, hence it should be protected even more.
2.4. Water and air pollution:
The inexorable pollution of water and air affects human health and terrestrial and aquatic life. The lack of access to drinking water is a significant problem in many countries around the world.
2.5 Deforestation is an unstoppable reality:
The large-scale indiscriminate felling of forests and jungles reduces the land's ability to absorb CO2 and contributes to the loss of biodiversity. It also affects communities that depend on forests if a jungle disappears in the Amazon, it disappears in Spain. If a forest burns in Chile, it burns in Spain, the planet does not understand borders.
2.6 Plastics and waste:
The most polluting materials are petroleum and its derivatives such as detergents, fertilizers, gasoline, and polyethylene, along with household waste such as batteries, organic remains, clothing, furniture, appliances, cans, bottles, paper, cardboard, etc.
The accumulation of plastics in oceans and land is a serious problem. Microplastics already pollute all ecosystems and the food chain in which they are present.
In Spain, a country that prides itself on recycling, almost a million tons of clothes are thrown away in our garbage and consequently end up in our landfills. Take as an example the world's largest clothing dump in the Atacama Desert, where clothes take 50 years to disappear per garment.
The harsh reality unknown is that old clothes are difficult to recycle and generate mountains of a real size, but generally of clothes in developing countries, turning those natural landscapes into authentic dumps without a solution.
Other objects that pollute are cigarette butts, since the eighties, more than 65 million butts from our seas have been collected from the oceans.
As for the islands of plastics, they leave no one indifferent. The Pacific Ocean harbors the largest island in the world formed by plastics, the magazine Nature estimates that this island is the size of three Frances together, an island in which some species of plants and animals colonize little by little and timidly.
2.7 Degraded soils:
The processes of degradation are erosion, physical degradation, biological degradation, chemical degradation, and finally desertification, difficult to reverse on the planet.
The excess in the abuse of clearing together with the use of chemical products such as fertilizers that are bread for today and hunger for tomorrow, the excess of grazing without letting the plants of the land recover, the indiscriminate felling, the pesticides, the contaminated waters, intensive agriculture, and the rapid urbanization of new towns and cities are degrading fertile soils, which threatens food security on the planet.
2.8. Depletion of Natural Resources:
Something that is unpleasant to hear is that we are depleting natural resources, noticing those first impacts in the year 2030 unless rapid and effective measures are taken in some cases, it would serve not to strain decisions such as grazing let it grow before returning to pass.
The overexploitation of resources such as minerals, water, and fossil fuels depletes finite resources such as quarries and mines that close because their extraction is not profitable and the mineral veins are exhausted.
2.9. Impact on Vulnerable Communities:
Vulnerable communities are those that are totally unprotected and do not have the necessary tools to stop them in the face of the different threats they face.
The fact of constant attacks on vulnerable communities must be avoided since, in addition to environmental degradation, it often disproportionately affects marginalized and vulnerable communities.
2.10. Energy Scarcity:
The continuous dependence on fossil fuels depletes resources and contributes to accelerated climate change and increased air pollution.
The fact that there are mismatches between supply and demand also causes mismatches and energy crises worldwide.
Hence the global energy crisis originated in the year 2021 with the great global economic recovery as a result of the lethargy produced by COVID 19 and the need to produce to recover lost time.
2.2 - Planetary Boundaries and Their Implications
The concept related to the pollution limits on the planet is based on an assessment of human actions and their severe impacts on the environment and society that accelerate the planet's destruction.
Some of these limits, such as the destruction of the biosphere, climate change, chemical pollution, changes in land use, and the phosphorus and nitrogen cycles, have already been surpassed.
We present general perspectives that we believe will allow us to advance towards the common good:
The Sustainability of the Planet: The mere act of trying to avoid excessive pollution by humanity and its leaders is beneficial, as it preserves natural resources and allows for short, medium, and long-term sustainability. This ensures that we avoid the destruction of the planet and that future generations can enjoy a healthy environment and sufficient resources.
Human and Environmental Health: Limiting pollution is highly beneficial for human health and biodiversity, as it avoids health risks such as respiratory diseases and the dreaded cancer and protects ecosystems and species on our planet from disappearing.
Responsibility and Ethics: Acting with the aim of reducing pollution is a sign of great social responsibility towards other human beings and the planet's fauna as a whole. Respecting the natural environment and minimizing negative impact is already considered a value that leaves no one indifferent today.
Perspectivas a mejorar y que se deben mejorar:
Perspectives to Improve and that Must Be Improved:
Severe Environmental Deterioration: Excessive pollution on planet Earth is causing damage to ecosystems, damages that are considered socially incorrect due to their impact on biodiversity and the loss of natural habitats, as well as the lives of human beings, plants, and animals.
Severe Health Detriments: Air, water, and soil and subsoil pollution harm human and animal health, as well as nature in general. This avoidable suffering is considered an attack on the planet and all the living beings that inhabit it.
Serious Inequalities: Pollution is a scourge that disproportionately and unevenly affects all communities, previously only vulnerable ones, but now all of them, which is considered a warning to everyone. Marginalized populations may suffer more from the negative effects of pollution, but economically stable societies are already experiencing the effects of climate change, leading them to reflect on it.
This Lack of Responsibility, combined with the lack of action and reaction of human beings to limit the pollution of the planet, is seen as a lack of social responsibility towards present and future generations and the well-being of the Earth as a whole. Some examples of the planet's recovery, a grateful planet, occurred when the world stopped due to COVID-19, during which nature quickly recovered, and attitudes changed.
In the end, what constitutes good and evil concerning the planet's limits and pollution depends on not only collective ethical and moral values but also on how we are capable of educating the individual. However, there is a growing global consensus on the urgent need to reduce pollution, without demagogy, to protect the environment and human health, reflecting a shared understanding of these ethical concepts in today's society where we carry out our activities.
3. COMPANIES AND THE ENVIRONMENT. THE ROLE OF COMPANIES IN THE SPANISH ENVIRONMENTAL CRISIS OF DIFFICULT RECONVERSION DUE TO MANUFACTURING OBSOLESCENCE.
The situation of a company in Spain versus the pollution it may generate, even though it is a driver of the economy itself, is a mandatory subject of study since if these changes are not undertaken, they will be forced to carry them out, as the planet has already said enough, coupled with a great social awareness endorsed by increasingly demanding law.
Consequently, some measures and considerations are presented, as well as the consequent significant challenges for the new Spanish economy of adaptability and conversion to change.
- Regulatory Compliance as a Driver of Change: The modern company must ensure that it is a company that complies with all current environmental regulations and norms and is even ahead of the upcoming regulations by knowing the sector and consequently the ones that may follow. It goes without saying that if we are polluting excessively, we can face serious legal sanctions and possible partial or total closures and loss of reputation in terms of credibility and trust with the general public and our clients, as they are very aware of these issues.
Spanish companies are aware of the mandatory compliance with environmental responsibility laws, water laws, waste and contaminated soil laws, noise laws, packaging and waste laws, air quality laws, and the consequent law for the protection of the atmosphere, and finally, the law of greenhouse gas emissions.
2. Technological Innovation: Technological innovation advances in seeking opportunities to adopt cleaner and more sustainable technologies in their production processes. This, in turn, will be able to reduce the significant environmental footprint.
Some technological advances are already being applied to reduce energy consumption, as well as to install clean and renewable energy systems. Technology is also applicable to intelligent water use and improving transport and logistics.
Corporate Social Responsibility: Promoting corporate social responsibility (CSR) and transparency in organizations concerning pollution is a reality that benefits the company and the environment where it carries out its activities. Consequently, communicating the actions the company is taking to address pollution and its efforts to reduce it.
Investment in Research and Development: Research and development of companies allow them to allocate the necessary resources to research and develop cleaner and more efficient technologies that can replace current polluting practices in time and at the right moment for the benefit of society.
Research and science allow generating sufficient knowledge to avoid pollution, hence the Spanish Government created the Ministry of Ecological Transition.
- Gradual Transition of Adaptability to Change: The complete reconversion of a company is often not feasible immediately; it requires experience and the ability to carry out this adaptability to non-pollution in terms of costs and human capital.
On many occasions, it also requires adapting the workforce, but not everyone can adapt, not everyone can master the new technologies that practically a new industry requires. Moreover, a fact that is not trivial is that the numbers of adaptability to this change add up, as many polluting companies find this reconversion to non-pollution economically unviable.
Diversification of Business Lines towards a Sustainable Company: This explores and analyzes the viability and different options, as well as the possibility of diversifying the company's operations towards more sustainable areas. Sometimes not all contaminating product lines can be adapted, but many other lines can be feasible. This could include sustainable production through less polluting machinery in manufacturing processes of more ecological products or expansion into green industries.
Public-Private Collaboration: Working in collaboration with the government, environmental organizations, and other companies to develop solutions and programs that address pollution jointly is about aligning public and private interests in such a way that everyone benefits from this collaboration so that nothing can fail.
Education and Awareness: Education at home, in companies, and in teaching that ranges from primary to university allows fostering a culture of environmental awareness among society and company employees. This can undoubtedly generate the necessary support for the ecological transition towards less polluting practices. It is important to consider that with the support of public opinion and society, nothing can fail.
Governmental Support with Good Economic Support Policies: Governmental support aims to seek government incentives, subsidies, or support and assistance programs for companies that wish to reduce their environmental footprint, but these supports must go hand in hand with the company and not be unattainable utopias based on the requirements demanded by them.
10. Risk Assessment:
The purpose of this assessment is to carry out a detailed and detailed risk analysis that considers environmental, economic and financial risks. This will help to make serious and timely decisions on the reconversion of the companies that opt for them.
11. Open Dialogue:
Maintaining an open and transparent dialogue with stakeholders is a priority, including employees, customers, investors, suppliers and, of course, the community in general where we carry out our activities, in order to obtain the necessary support and understanding during the conversion process.
The fact of carrying out the conversion of a polluting company is a complex challenge and not without difficulties, but it is essential to balance economic interests with the sustainability demanded by the planet.
As with any change, it will require a process of adaptability that will take time, investment and effort, a lot of effort, but of vital importance to ensure a sustainable future for both the company and the country as a whole.
- TEN EXAMPLES OF SELECTED COMPANIES WITH SUSTAINABLE APPROACHES.
There are many, many companies around the world that have adopted sustainable practices as an integral part of their daily operations and work. We present a few examples as we consider them to be of interest:
This outdoor clothing company is known for its serious commitment to sustainability. As a result, according to its website it uses recycled materials, and says it promotes fair trade and also donates 1% of its total sales to environmental organizations.
2. Tesla Automobiles:
This company stands out in the complex non-polluting automotive industry and for its focus on electric vehicles and consequently sustainable energy. It is a leader in high-end electric cars and electric and solar energy storage systems.
Unilever, one of the world's most powerful consumer goods companies, is firmly committed to reducing its environmental footprint. It has set complex targets for itself to reduce plastic waste and increase the use of renewable energy in its own production operations.
This commercial flooring company has adopted an approach called "Mission Zero," which sought to eliminate pollution. They have worked on reducing waste and using sustainable materials with great results.
The technology company Google has publicly committed to operating on 100% renewable energy and has invested huge amounts of money in numerous wind and solar energy projects to offset its powerful energy consumption.
Furniture chain IKEA has focused its current policy with great results on becoming more sustainable by using sustainably sourced wood, developing energy-efficient products, and promoting the reuse and recycling of many of its products.
Danone, a leader for its dairy and nutrition products, focuses on sustainability throughout its supply chain, from milk production to the packaging of its products thus managing to avoid millions of polluting packages.
8. Natura & Co:
This powerful Brazilian conglomerate of beauty product companies, which includes such important brands as Natura, Avon and The Body Shop, has prioritized sustainability and corporate social responsibility in its operations not at odds with obtaining economic income.
9. Ben & Jerry's:
The ice cream brand assures its customers of its commitment to sustainability, including the use of fair trade ingredients and sustainable and natural farming practices. Avoiding deforestation with the use of its food.
This e-commerce platform is able to promote handmade and vintage style products, encouraging reuse and local production, which is in line with sustainable values.
These ten examples aim to demonstrate that sustainability is increasingly demanded by the consumer who no longer consumes if the brand is not sold as green, sustainable, ecological, etc. This fact is a reality which is already possible in a variety of industries and company sizes.
Each of these companies has demonstrated, based on their different capabilities, the adaptability to change, otherwise they would end up closing independently, which is a benefit to the planet.
Obviously it is possible to be profitable while taking significant measures to reduce environmental impact and promote corporate social responsibility, but if we look at how many polluting industry we see that will adapt to this change the truth is that it is difficult because how to adapt for example a cruise company with what pollutes a ship, the coal industry, steel and a large number of companies that we have talked about that pollute. But what about those that pollute and people do not know it without going any further many environmental, natural and healthy companies dedicated to fruit do not carry on the label of the banana that is in its transport has polluted an average of the equivalent of traveling 8000 km and their respective CO2 and the same with hundreds of products.
4. RISKS AND OPPORTUNITIES IN THE NEW SUSTAINABLE ECONOMY:
- The ten financial risks that, if sustainability is not addressed in time, will irremediably lead to serious risks for companies, communities and their customers, with serious damage to the planet as a whole. Here we present some of the ten most significant risks summarized and which we thought it would be interesting to reflect due to their importance.
1. Negative Environmental Impact:
Companies that do not adopt their business and production practices to sustainability are contributing to the depletion of natural resources themselves, by leaps and bounds. In addition, to the degradation of the environment, as well as climate change, which in turn contributes along with many other companies to increase the frequency and severity of extreme weather events, entering into a spiral of self-destruction of the planet. Therefore, being co-responsible companies that carry it out and probably in a few years will be accused and sentenced to compensate the planet because today they are aware of the damage they cause and they are doing it with legal chicanery.
2. Financial Risks:
Failure of companies to be able to envision in generating and leveraging sustainability in their institutions can result in much higher operating costs due to penalties and fines due to regulations that are about to be passed each year being stricter and consequently producing problems in the supply chain. In addition, companies that do not adapt to these market trends towards new products and services, as well as to sustainable regulatory requirements, can certainly lose competitiveness and market value.
3. Damaged Corporate Reputation:
Public opinion and consumers are increasingly concerned about environmental and social issues. Consequently, companies that do not adopt green and sustainable practices will face serious losses of credibility and trust, as well as damage to their reputation, which may consequently affect their own economic revenues and their economic, commercial and even social relations.
4. Litigation and Legal Liability before the public administration and the administered:
All companies that currently pollute or damage the natural environment will face serious legal claims and regulatory actions, they will not be allowed to continue to pollute with impunity.
The costs associated with litigation and fines can be significant and even lead to closure.
5. Resource Scarcity:
The depletion of natural resources is an existential threat to many industries in different sectors and one that no one scientifically can refute. Lack of access to essential raw materials can disrupt production and increase costs in fair reciprocity and many of the proposed alternatives are already being exhausted.
6. Supply Chain Insecurity:
Climate and environmental risks can affect the stability of the supply chain, which can lead to vital disruptions and financial losses in many sectors such as industrials and services, marking a turning point.
7. Legal regulations and laws are there to be complied with:
Regulations, must be tightened and those already approved enforced. Governments are already implementing more stringent regulations related to sustainability and corporate social responsibility. Companies that fail to adapt may be forced to make costly changes or face penalties.
8. Investor Perception of Risk:
Investors are increasingly evaluating environmental, social and governance (ESG) risk when making investment decisions. Companies that do not meet ESG standards are finding it increasingly difficult to attract investment, and rightly so, as it is not possible to invest in companies that are not sustainable.
9. Potent Community Impact:
Businesses that are not sustainable can have a negative impact on local communities, including residents' own health and quality of life and in fair reciprocity lower the share price and begin to have class action lawsuits that affect citizen's health.
10. Isolation in the new Global Market:
As more countries and companies around the planet commit to sustainability, companies that do not do so become isolated in the global marketplace and lose business opportunities while moving towards a chronic death foretold that will last as long as they are not denounced.
In short, failure to adapt to change and sustainability not only poses a risk to the environment itself, but also to the economic viability and reputation of companies. The transition is therefore inexorably towards much more sustainable practices and is essential to minimize these risks and ensure a better, safer and, of course, more prosperous future for companies and society in general.
The sustainable economy is part of the economic and socially responsible system that seeks to increase the social benefits of human beings themselves and of the planet. Economic system based on a new reconfiguration of the companies at world-wide level, as well as of a financial system, that allows this one to cohabit both social and managerial interests. Making them coincide, so that nothing can fail. We are referring to the private interest of the company with that of the new sustainable economy and, of course, those of the public, i.e. the new non-polluting world society.
The objective of the sustainable economy is to avoid the spiral of self-destruction of the planet, in order to try to reduce poverty and curb excessive consumption that threatens the planet's ecosystems. To this end, we must focus on the three "R's": reduce highly polluting consumption by promoting others, reuse and recycle. Likewise, to invest efficiently and resolutely in all types of renewable energies together with energy saving through new technologies.
Society today is moving towards a responsible economic system that avoids pollution, but which must also go hand in hand with very significant environmental, social and economic policies.
We must be aware of the importance of not only saving water consumption but also educating the population not to do so. In addition, avoid water malpractice for example in Spain is lost approximately more than 20% of the water consumption that is distributed through pipes, but this statistic does not include the one that is paid but also lost and wasted for example a faucet or cistern that simply leaks loses every day that passes 80 liters of water. Let us imagine from this example many others.
Another aspect of vital importance is linked to sustainable mobility with the intelligent use of public and private means of transport. That is, what good is it that in a city like Barcelona, which today welcomes us in its bosom for this congress of the Racef is fighting and sanctioning to implement electric cars, but is prohibited even drive classic cars that represent a major industry for the city, but apparently not enough polluting to generate new taxes and be profitable to the administration, conclusion can not circulate. On the other hand, the Catalan government contradicts itself because every day more and more ships dock in its port of Barcelona, for example it is expected in 2023 to go from 810 to 900 ships loaded with tourists and that are a source of income is fair to recognize for the city, a very polluted city, but with huge revenues and profits thanks to that pollution.
The City Council itself recognizes that the boats produce 3 million tons of CO2 per year, that is to say that the boats alone emit three times more sulfur dioxide than all the cars in Barcelona in the same year. Consequently, the fact that no classic or polluting cars circulate in the city is pure image for its leaders because they are seen, while they are driven, while boats are not.
If we make a social balance versus benefits, income and pollution that represents a cruise ship type and I am referring to what is paid in Barcelona. According to the Conseller of climate action for the new tax for docking is charged 1,440 euros which represents for the Government 7.5 million euros per year and for the city is calculated an impact of 800 million euros or what is the same 1 million euros for each ship that docks and there we have the answer. They are not seen, it does not affect the image and gives income despite the pollution we have different yardsticks.
Architecture and construction must also be sustainable. For this pollution accounts for 23% of all air pollution in our country together with 60% of waste in landfills and 42% of drinking water. A whole industry that urgently requires a reconversion and which also generates hundreds of jobs.
The degree of human self-destruction of the planet is mainly caused by climate change, which is undoubtedly a consequence of environmental pollution. This destruction is changing the world economy and the way our executives and the companies they lead are managing, so we are talking about a new sustainable economy.
The vast majority of countries in the world continue to pollute because of the high economic costs of not being able to adapt to change and ecological transition with the gravity of what it represents, job losses, company closures, obsolescence of certain professions and a long etc. that will affect all economies.
But this goes beyond what we can imagine because despite the many measures to avoid it, we not only pollute more, but each year we are also able to consume the resources of almost two planets earth, without going any further this year 2023 74% of the resources taken from the earth will not have the necessary time to regenerate.
Consequently, it can and must be stopped not only by raising awareness but also by acting, helping and finally legislating, if legislating if reason does not come in, survival will have to come in and consequently legislating and legislating.
I have just arrived from a congress in the USA in which very important wise men in the area of the new economy have met, the conclusion that I draw after listening to these colleagues is that the human being is intelligent enough and endowed with the instinct of survival to know how to stop in time long before losing everything and self-destructing and this trend to prevent this from going further has fortunately already begun.
The existing human ambition on the planet to continue consuming and generating wealth through its companies, businesses and environment, as well as for its shareholders is a normal and lawful fact in a globalized world that generates a controversy to which we must not only address but respond quickly with the new sustainable economy.
This is an urgent problem that requires immediate attention and action. Entire cities that have been devastated by climate change have been devastated by heavy snowfalls, hurricanes, droughts, etc. and are the only ones aware of the real economic and loss of life problem they face. That awareness after destruction marks an inexorable before and after.
Only with this awareness can we change our ways of living, producing and consuming so as not to pollute and kill species and this is only possible with training plans focused on all collectives without exception. Only through a collective approach of goodwill and new awareness, based on sustainability and environmental responsibility, can we hope to preserve our clean and unpolluted planet for future generations.
This society already has enough problems with global warming to endure new and lethal crises of any kind, but we are especially referring to wars, such as those in Ukraine and Israel, perhaps the best known, but we cannot forget the serious conflicts in Senegal, Mozambique, Nigeria, Somalia, Cameroon, Sudan, South Sudan, Cameroon, Mali, Ethiopia and others.
Consequently, from all corners of the planet, we must know how to stop and contribute to stop them with policies of denunciation and awareness, raising the slogan "enough is enough" to pollution and wars. Otherwise the voice of economic conscience for the planet will be extinguished producing chaos.
I have said.
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Autor: Dr. José Daniel Barquero Cabrero. Profesor y Catedrático en Economía y Empresa y CEO de SER, Strategic Economic Relations.
Copyright 2023 RACEF. Real Academia de Ciencias Económicas y Financieras.