Sustainable development and nature
Modern science and technology have made profound impact on the life of mankind. Our working methods, quality of life, household and societal environment are being revolutined by the modern technological methods. It has been observed that more than 95 per cent of rural people enjoy the facilities of portable radio and wristwatch. More than 20 per cent of the households enjoy the facilities of cold drinking water from the refrigerators. All this has been made possible by repositioning the developmental plans and making India the third largest reservoir of scientific and technical manpower. The microelectronics has totally refined the working systems and made India a global village. The inevitable fall out of such development is considerable damage to the physical environment. The technological progress caused two types of adverse impacts-first on the physical environment in terms of increased air pollution, degradation in water quality, soil pollution due to excessive use of agro-chemicals, enhanced risks factors and second, damage to culture, social, political and commercial environment. Any evaluation of technological progress has led to take cognizance of the ill effects on the total societal environment in the fast changing economic environment.
Like any other technology, management- the art and science of managing people and other natural resources has also been evolved. Management has become the vital ingredient as a knowledge base for usefully exploiting the scarce resources. The main aim of sustainable development is to balance the current needs of life and also the future needs through resource conservation with minimum or no adverse impact on total environment. Successful societies are harnessing the technological progress of the people through balanced and effective managerial processes. Unethical and indiscriminate use of technology can lead to catastrophe.
Human development index is based on the economic development and rate of its progress. In the developing countries of the world,3/5(60%) of the population are living without basic sanitation, 1/3 without safe drinking water,1/4 with no housing and 1/5 without proper medical facilities and equal amount not getting opportunities to go beyond 5th standard of education. The developing countries of the world are at the lower rung of the human development scale. Around 86% of the total global consumption is enjoyed by the 20% of the world’s population. This has been possible by the developed countries by properly managing the science and technology and also effectively managing their human and natural resources. An enterprise as an economic entity affects both the physical and cultural environment. The massive industrial development affects not only the physical environment but also the mental make-up of its stakeholders. That is why we have a host of statutes to control an enterprise and regulation directions such as competition laws, labour laws, patent laws, conservation laws, company laws etc. to make an enterprise a responsible corporate entity.
The society gets affected by the pollution an enterprise causes to the environment. Like biological system reacting to impetus, the environmental factors also influence the associated systems of an enterprise. The societal components react to an enterprise resulting to mend its ways, processes and technologies as per the requirement of the society. For instance, after the Bhopal gas tragedy, extensive legislation has come up for the process control and safety management. Development at Bhopal, resulted an MNC (multinational company) not only loosing its credibility in the eyes of the public but also its market supremacy for its products in all the lines. Indiscriminate use and depleting the limited resources with no attention on the sustainable development attracts the attention of the society, the government machinery and consumer activists. A monopolistic approach is bound to get addressed by the affected stakeholders from outside the system. Typical examples are that of the Indian airlines and telephone systems. Monopolistic Indian Airlines is now competing with four major competitors ultimately benefiting customers with better quality services.
Environment management is viewed as an approach to protect the physical environment surrounding an enterprise of an individual. It is a myopic way of looking at environment management. Environmental components like economic, social, technological, cultural and political aspects are equally important and they are also influenced by the policies and practices of an enterprise. Feedback mechanism governs the organisational process. A management team absorbs feedback and able to take decisions that have far-reaching impact on an enterprise and also on the society. The management tools available for environmental feedback and improvement for accomplishing green productivity should be brought into focus in order to prepare managers to face the challenges of the fast changing environment. In order to aware the future managers of green productivity, the education should be imparted to identify all dimensions of the environment and their influence on the enterprise. After that they would be able to orient the decision making process to the total needs of the environment. The structure of management education is required to be revamped to embrace the environmental dimensions in its entity. An enterprise management influences different components of environment as discussed earlier. An organization also gets negative and positive feedback from the societal components. Appropriate and effective management practices would minimize the adverse impact of an
enterprise on the society.
(The writer is a Scientist & Head, KVK, Reasi (Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology-Jammu).