The world is getting close to a point of no return.
In 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released an alarming warning. In this shocking report, the IPCC shared how we’re dangerously near to destroying ourselves beyond repair when it comes to global warming. If governments are not able to stabilize global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, there will be consequences.
The planet’s temperature today is close to that figure, having seen average global temperatures rise between 0.8 and 1.0 degrees Celsius, in comparison to pre-industrial values. The IPCC further warned that we could reach the 1.5-degree threshold sometime between 2030 and 2052. Once that happens, we could face issues such as rising sea levels, extreme weather, flooding and more.
This is why many parties have begun championing environmental preservation in recent years. We are acknowledging the impact mankind has had on the planet and that we still have the opportunity to change our habits to preserve the planet for our future generations.
Increased education and awareness are what fuels small but growing movements like the #trashtag initiative. This initiative has people from around the globe clearing garbage that has piled up over the years, then sharing before and after photos of the areas they’ve cleaned up to inspire and encourage others to do the same.
However, while individual efforts are worthy of applause, corporations are truly the ones that play a huge role in enacting change. They are the ones who are able to generate the most impact.
Among those taking hold of this environmental charge are companies like EcoWorld – a property developer in Malaysia. The Group is deeply committed to ensuring that their developments are green and sustainable.
Organizations like EcoWorld understand that saving the planet requires effort in three key areas: protecting the environment from damaging practices, creating advocates for the future as well as encouraging individuals and families to adopt green habits.
Protecting the environment
Corporations that want to play a role in preserving the environment must first review their practices and how they are affecting the planet. For corporations in the food industry, it could mean reducing wastage by tackling excess spoilage of ingredients and products. For toy manufacturers, it could mean switching from using harmful materials to safer biodegradable materials for production. For supermarkets, it could mean eliminating the use of single-use plastic bags altogether.
For a property developer like EcoWorld, the key step is when they are looking to develop a new development or township.
“When it comes to planning our developments, preserving the natural environment will always be our first priority,” says Dato Chang Khim Wah, President & CEO of Eco World Development Group Berhad. “We have to act responsibly and I do believe that every little action we take today will help towards creating a better tomorrow.”
When EcoWorld begins a development, they will see how they can preserve the surrounding environment. For them, the priority is about integrating available natural resources into their overall master plan.
To preserve the environment, EcoWorld looks to avoid getting rid of natural hills and hold back from uprooting trees where possible. Even uprooted trees are often re-planted elsewhere to ensure that they can continue to live on. Thousands of trees have been transplanted over the years with the hope of enticing local animals to return to their habitat after the development is completed.
Creating advocates and stewards
Mandates from the top of an organization may not always be followed, especially if employees don’t buy the overall philosophy. It’s one thing to donate money to NGOs or groups that are trying to preserve the environment but having employees turn into green ambassadors is a whole different feat.
Employees committed to adopting practices that go beyond recycling printing paper at their offices are great examples for all ages to follow.
The philosophy is simple: if you love the environment, teach others to love it as well. It’s a simple belief that can be easily transferred to others, for the benefit of future generations.
“Our employees value our dedication in protecting the environment and carry out numerous green initiatives themselves,” says Dato Chang. “As they see true dedication from the leadership team, they have also adopted a positive attitude and continue to inspire people beyond the office walls and that is always heartening.”
For EcoWorld, Green Stewardship is an important part of the organization’s philosophy. While they do teach staff about conservation by producing their corporate uniforms from plastic bottles and harvesting crops through an urban gardening program, they also encourage employees to lead eco-friendly activities in their developments.
While large-scale efforts have a bigger impact towards preserving the environment, empowering employees emotionally certainly helps to build on that effort too as the little things individuals do on a daily basis play a part as well.
Adopting Green Living practices, such as proper recycling, buying reusable straws, limiting electricity wastage and using household items like vinegar and baking soda as cleaning agents instead of chemical-laden products is also important.
EcoWorld helps nudge its residents to adopt green lifestyles by giving them methods and tools to lessen their environmental impact. For example, their Eco Sanctuary township provides the following facilities and features:
- Deep balconies that provide shade to the rooms and reduce heat gain.
- Solar water heaters for all residential units.
- Edible greens, such as herb and fruit trees, available in the development’s backlane gardens and pocket gardens.
- A community waste strategy and educational program that promotes recycling.
“It’s about doing the right thing,” adds Dato Chang. “I think people would adopt eco-friendly practices if given the education and right tools. This is why we work so hard to provide these tools for our residents and we’ve certainly seen great results!”
It is often easy to forget that the planet is a resource shared by billions of people and that future generation will be affected by the decisions made now. Nevertheless, increasing efforts are being made by both individuals and corporations toward a greener tomorrow.
Sometimes all we need is to be shown the path so that we too can walk the talk. Corporations have the power to re-build our future, and teach us how to walk the right path so that we can individually play a role and change the world together.