Resolving The Problem Of Global Climate Change Marketing Essay
As it is known, the climate change, called also as “global warming” or “greenhouse effect”, is caused mainly by human activity. When different goods are being produced at fabrics, a lot of greenhouse gases (GHG), like CO2, get to the atmosphere causing its warming. In case all people on the Earth follow principles of sustainable consumption, these GHG emissions will be reduced essentially. The first principle can be named purchase necessity; it implicates buying goods only when there is an objective need of the purchase. The second principle of sustainable consumption (purchase eco-friendliness) covers the problem of production technology: whether it is environment-friendly or not. The third principle is principle of purchase quality, as sustainability means using well—made goods which can serve a long period of time instead of cheep goods which have a short life and only enlarge landfills. Therefore, these principles help to support the main idea: although humans’ needs are increasing permanently, the majority of goods are being produced by traditional technologies, and mass-produced goods of low quality are becoming popular, following the sustainable consumption principles may solve the problem of global climate change because producers will implement the qualitative production management, consumers will buy only goods which they really need and will use only well-made goods.
To understand the importance of sustainable consumption firstly it is essential to give a working definition to this issue. The Symposium “Sustainable Consumption” (19–20 January 1994 Oslo, Norway) proposed a possible definition of sustainable consumption, which is derived from the general concept of sustainable development formulated by the World Commission on Environment and Development:
Sustainable consumption means the provision of services and related products, which respond to basic needs and bring a better quality of life, while minimizing the use of natural resources and toxic materials as well as the emissions of waste and pollutants over the life cycle of the service or product so as not to jeopardize the needs of future generations. (159)
Also, “such a concept of consumption requires the optimization of consumption subject to maintaining services and quality of resources and the environment over time” (33), as E. Salim stated in his report. Thus, basic clauses of the sustainable consumption concept include also improvement of natural resources use.
The next necessary issue for further theme coverage is the importance of sustainable products for everyday use. To know about sustainable products and to use them in every day life is important for three reasons. Firstly, labeled sustainable products are not harmful for environment. Ecological certification of such goods means that all features of the product were checked and no contaminants were found in it. Only after strict examination the product can be labeled with the becoming label of its safety for the environment. Secondly, sustainable products give possibilities for the future generations to survive. Nowadays the majority of people live in environmental conditions which almost are not suitable for healthy life of their children. The depletion of the nature is progressing partly due to wrong way of consumption. Generally people buy more goods than it is necessary for their comfortable and healthy life. Sustainable labeled products change stereotypes of consumption to allow the future generations live in at least the same conditions as modern generation live. And finally, such products are certainly safe for people’s health. Ecological certification means not only safety for the environment – it also guarantees that products are not toxic for consumers who buy them. Labeled goods as a rule do not contain any artificial components, like dye. Also, they do not contain any substances which are not analyzed in scientific laboratories, when consequences of their consumption are unknown.
The reasons of sustainable products importance, given below, are related to domestic aspects. To analyze ways of global climate change regulation with the help of sustainable consumption principles implementation, we need covering the global aspects and tendencies of consumption. Also, it is necessary to mention here existent links between global goods consumption and the dynamics of greenhouse gases’ (GHG) emissions on the planet. Since 1950, the world's people have consumed more goods than the combined total of all humans who ever lived on the planet before. The supply of material goods and services has been increased at the direct expense of natural resources. The current situation was summed up by P. Hawken, A. Lovins, and H. Lovins in their book Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution. Authors claim that the production of human-made goods and services nowadays is increasing rapidly due to the industrial revolution. Nevertheless, at the same time we have the nature resources diminution which is the greatest for more than last 250 years. Thus, today the human civilization is based on artificial capital which is inversely connected with natural capital: when the first one is increasing, the second one is declining. The real importance for humans’ survival, as authors mention, belongs exactly to natural capital (2). Therefore, natural capital nowadays is being replaced by human-made capital. In other words, natural resources are being converted to waste within the global process of goods consumption. Summarizing abovementioned statements, we can mark out the first aspect the present research: the sufficient increase of global goods consumption in recent years has led to rise of waste quantity and greenhouse gases’ (GHG) emissions.
Despite humans’ needs are increasing permanently, there are some possibilities to reduce global goods consumption and the corresponding level of GHG emissions. Today negative environmental tendencies make people more concerned about their future; they begin thinking about correlation between their behavior and changes of environmental conditions. The idea of sustainable development becomes more and more popular. Exactly in this period it is important to popularize principles of sustainable consumption. The implementation of the first principle (purchase necessity) can resolve the problem of humans’ needs permanent increase: consumers will buy only goods which they really need. In its turn, it will bring to reduction of waste burning on landfills.
The second important aspect of the present research deals mostly with producers and production technologies. Technologies of increased goods production recently have played a very important role in global climate change due to quantitative regulation of GHG emissions. One of the most controversial ideas concerning world industrial technologies says that the majority of goods today are being produced by traditional “dirty” technologies with high level of GHG emissions. At the same time, almost all highly-developed countries with great industrial facilities have joined the Kyoto protocol to follow the principles of sustainability and to reduce the level of emissions. Production of sustainable goods is always based on qualitative production management which means following high standards in refinement of plant’s emissions. For instance, the majority of European plants are certified with ISO14000 that makes them rather clear for the environment. So, the qualitative production management leads to reduction of GHG emissions caused by “dirty” production without filters and modern technologies.
Finally, the third essential aspect of the research is connected with so-called consumption patterns – the way and the style of goods consumption. The basic consumption patterns on the global level have been recently divided in two groups: far-sighted ecologically-friendly and short-sighted “greedy” consumption. Short-sighted style of consuming goods and services is exactly described by Victor Lebow who says that “our enormously productive economy… demands that we make consumption our way of life, that we convert the buying and use of goods into rituals, that we seek our spiritual satisfaction, our ego satisfaction, in consumption” (the citation is mentioned by Monica Hesse C01). At the same time, the wrong opinion exists that on the global level mass-produced goods of low quality are becoming more popular because of their cheapness. This statement can be disproved by the fact that the world majority of goods are being consumed in developed countries where the price is not determinative. On the other hand, the third principle of sustainable consumption teaches consumers to use only well-made goods. Due to mass consumption of qualitative products with long term of usage, the demand for additional units have to decrease which leads to level of waste and GHG emissions reducing.
Also, it is necessary to point out the differences between sustainable goods and other (usual) commodities. Sustainable goods and products differ from usual commodities by three main criteria: safety in use, quality of production, and labeling of goods. Firstly, sustainable products are made from non-toxic, mostly natural materials which have ability to be recycled and are safe both for human’s health and for environment. In contrast, among usual commodities there are some which contain harmful elements for human’s health. Also, a lot of usual products contain artificial elements or materials, like plastic, that cannot be recycled. Secondly, sustainable goods are always well-made. Their high quality can be estimated by such characteristics as durable terms of utilization, timeless design, and reliability in service. However, usual goods cannot always be characterized in such a manner. In most cases products of mass consumption have short-term period of utilization and unreliable thin details made from cheap materials. They also have specific design which can be relevant for a season only and goes out of fashion soon. And finally, all sustainable products are marked with special ecological labels. They can be certified as non-toxic, environmentally friendly, recyclable, without CFCs, GMOs, etc. This criterion is obligatory for sustainable products. In contrast, usual goods can be displayed for sale without any ecological marking. On the other hand, the procedure of certification is rather expensive and complicated, so there are very few usual products which are labeled. Therefore, sustainable products are healthier, more qualitative, and ecologically friendlier than the majority of usual goods.
Therefore, we can make some conclusions about importance of implementing the basic principles of sustainable consumption for resolving the problem of global climate change. As it was mentioned above, the sufficient increase of global goods consumption in recent years has led to rise of waste quantity and GHG emissions. Also, technologies of increased goods production have played a very important role in global climate change due to quantitative regulation of GHG emissions. At the same time, the basic consumption patterns on the global level have been recently divided in two groups: far-sighted ecologically-friendly and short-sighted “greedy” consumption. All these aspects suggests that one of the most effective ways of resolving the climate change problem is implementing the principles of sustainable consumption throughout the world’s population. If consumers buy only goods which they really need (according to the first principle of sustainable consumption), it will bring to reduction of waste burning on landfills. Then, if producers implement the qualitative production management (according to the second principle of sustainable consumption), high standards in refinement of plants emissions will be followed. And finally, if consumers use only well-made goods (according to the third principle of sustainable consumption), the demand for additional units will decrease due to mass consumption of qualitative products with long term of usage. Thus, it can be stated confidently, that propaganda of the sustainable consumption principles can essentially reduce waste quantity and level of GHG emissions in the world which means solving the problem of the global climate change.
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