In the not so distant past, the free-market environmentalism has been the sole approach to the preservation of the environment in the wake of huge industrialisation and encroachment. The argument in support of this method has always been that with the proper administration of tort laws, pursuance of property rights and the autonomy of a free market, the biodiversity can best be preserved. An emerging approach is where governments through legislations are taking a more proactive role to control the market and in effect preserve the environment. Due to the inability of the market to control the excessive use of non renewable resources and the negative effects of production, the intervention of governments to manage the mechanisms of the market place is critical.
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As it stands, the best way to introduce a more controlled market environment would be the development and implementation of third party programs. Certification of such programs would ensure social and environmental responsibility amongst global producers. Such an approach has been used in Britain’s wood market with remarkable results. These certification and labelling(C & L) programs have gained popularity around the world for a wide range of items including agricultural products. (Jason McNichol, 1999) Every product that adheres to certain criteria during its production stage gets a “seal” before it is released to the market.
The integration of government control and corporate social responsibility is inevitable. While corporations are not entirely intent on harming the environment, having their priorities in making profit has hampered environmental protection. Many organisations spend more money in “green wash” projects than what they use on environmental sustainability. According to Paul W. Taylor (Pierce, VanDeVeer, 1994, pp. 554) there is limited participation of minority groups in corporations’ efforts yet these groups are the disproportionate bearers of the environmental degradation effects. It is clear that many corporations have a way of arm twisting governments into easing some stringent regulations. Corporate social responsibility is doomed to fail because most influential corporations are within the oil and automobile sectors of the economy.
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