Why we need people and planet first, and not only economy

Posted on March 22, 2011

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The industrial revolution made men able to build a world more dynamic and profitable, recreating a new way of living in this world.

But how far can men play this game without causing irreversible damages to the planet and to mankind itself?

In the masters course of Design for Development, in Kingston University, between many modules on sustainable development, we have one specific in Corporal Social Responsibility (CSR).

One of the CSR theories is the Triple Bottom Line (TBL), a term that was coined by by John Elkington in 1998 (Wikipedia 2011). The idea is that businesses do not have just the economic value as their single goal, but it should also include in a same weight and level the social and environmental aspects of a company’s impact.

Most recently, we are watching the Nuclear disaster in Japan, after the earthquake and tsunami struck. Since Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant explosions, people of Fusushima are being screened for radiation exposure.



In Brazil, after 30 years of trying, the government’s project of the world’s third-largest hydroelectric , the Belo Monte Dam is now starting to be implemented. The project is predicted to be one of the biggest world environmental catastrophes over the Amazon rainforest.

In both cases, the impacts of such industries make and are going to make the lives of local communities unsustainable. It is only in emergency situations that the consequences of ‘great technological ideas’ are then analysed in all their parameters.

Theories on ethics should be included in all schools’ agendas, as part of an international curriculum, as well as being part of ‘citizenship trainings’ for adults. Ethics are not only about how things should be, but also how to start doing things differently, in order to look at everyone involved in the issue. It is about doing businesses with a human and life centred approach, considering that we live in an abundant but finite planet.

* by Paula Ligo

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Posted in: Our thoughts