Protecting Our Environment – It Makes Economic Sense

Autumn LakeAsking people, businesses, or any institution to do anything for altruistic reasons hardly ever works. It then begs to ask why environmental stewardship campaigns are often reduced to “feel good” narratives that play on our social consciousness. Feeling good is temporary, but connecting to core values is sustainable. We need more sustainable approaches to environmental sustainability.

America’s 164 million pet owners may advocate for the ethical treatment of animals, but they are also part of an annual $60 billion pet industry ecosystem. A strong economic case can be made for environmental stewardship as well. However, it has to start with education and awareness that fosters new thinking.

According to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, the average American rids of 1.3 pounds of food scraps daily. Effective food waste recovery is resulting in new industrial and agricultural uses. The technology, industrial processing, and transport services required to “repurpose” food waste amounts to new industries. The social and human benefits include feeding hungry people and reducing waste sent to landfills.

The focus of environmental initiatives has to be on messaging relative to the following:

  • Employment: Waste management, pollution reduction, energy, and clean water initiatives must align with employment growth. Creating living wage jobs within communities always result in jobs within other sectors as well.
  • Tax Revenue: New industry growth and increased employment translate to additional tax revenue. Government entities, institutions, businesses, and citizens must clearly understand the benefits of environmental stewardship.
  • Social Benefits: Connecting reduced waste, clean air, and clean water to public health is powerful. This is a universal theme that is rarely debated.
  • Innovation: History has always proven that social challenges present economic opportunity. Public policy favorable to such innovation must be made known.

Waste management, smart water management, energy efficiency, and intelligent transportation yield tangible environmental benefits. Public outreach and stakeholder engagement has to include messages that encompass realizing the economic benefits that directly impacts each stakeholder. Environmental stewardship is not only a matter of literal survival, it is an economic imperative.

About Montrie Rucker Adams

Montrie Rucker Adams, APR, DTM, MBA is an award-winning writer and public relations professional. As president and chief visibility officer at Visibility Marketing Inc., she leads the marketing communications and public relations company in strategic stakeholder engagement, making people, products and services more visible.