So it seems that we’re hearing bad news about the effects of climate change every day. Increasingly frequently, we learn that sea levels are rising faster than expected, extreme weather events are becoming more common and more impactful and that we’re about to reach the “tipping point” – a sort-of point-of-no-return scenario that suggests we’re in bad shape.
In the face of this dire situation, should we drop everything we’re doing in environmetnal sustainability and focus solely on mitigating climate effects and adapting to likely impacts? You could say there’s good reason to hone in on climate change through radical upgrades in energy efficiency, materials selection. product lifecycle impacts and personal behavior. And we agree that the situation is urgent.
However, what about air quality? What about water availability? What about what happens to the waste we (unnecessarily) generate? Clearly, we can’t. We have serious problems in terms of water, chemicals, toxic substances and waste (particularly, e-waste) that cannot be ignored. So, no, by all means don’t stop working in these other areas! But get smart: do the analysis required to get focus on what is relevant to your particular situation or circumstances. Look at industry and geographic risk trends. And don’t forget about opportunities to save money, collaborate with others and innovate. One … step … at … a … time.