Environmental Management has been long been neglected in South Africa and companies were able to pollute and take away profits. Most mining towns are left depleted of resources and the community ripped of their pride and human value. The promulgation of Environmental laws has seen environmental compliance being enforced. Biggest challenges are the legacy problems and the shift of the mentality on how to engage on future without dealing with the legacy.
The Environmental industry has been evolving and the call for alternative technology and operational models that reduces or minimise environmental challenges is growing. Such attempts of technological change and evolution are often met with resistance and therefore affects implementation of solutions. The hierarchy in institutions that should influence compliance and environmental management has become a barrier to change. Often change is often seen as a threat to job creation.
Environment has become a matter of life
With continuous industries abandoned without remedial actions on environment and victims remains communities, it is time communities understand the role of Environmental Management and partner with companies and Environmental specialists to collaborate and build sustainable environmental solutions. This can include companies; mining houses and business creating community environmental programmes and support them to ensure that communities can ensure that rehabilitation of the environment is not neglected.
Accountability is key
Days of *not it my yard* attitude are gone and tit is time everyone in a community to play part in environmental management. We live in digital era and social media can be used by communities can expose their own impacts and raise local challenges that needs collaborative approaches to solve. There is faster opportunity to access companies and responsible authorities to encourage participation into resolving local problems.
Most companies need to get out of laurels and start putting environmental compliance at the core of their business values and respect the brand proposition that allows for incorporating natural environment and human environment. Communities must hold business accountable for their brand promise. Companies must be wary of brand promise and commitment to build rapport with communities and their customers too. If business leaders and management can commit to ethics and authentic business models and incorporate community in their planning, the world will be much more better and the pain of the environment will be felt by many leading to collaborative solution.