Business and Society Reflective journalEntry 1Topic: The role of activists in achieving social and environmental sustainabilityWhen I commenced with the task of exploring the role of activists in the attainment of social and environmental sustainability, little did I know the massive role played by this collective in achieving the aforementioned ends. Nonetheless, as I embarked on reading and reflecting on the work by Swartz (2010), I eventually gained a comprehensive insight into the fundamental task that is undertaken by the activists in achieving social and environmental stability in any nation. Personally, the role of activists seemed insignificant in the efforts towards environmental conservation when compared to other bigger players like governments and international NGOs like United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
The insight into the article Timberland CEO on standing up to 65,000 angry activists just revealed how this collective form a formidable force in addressing environmental and social issues both at the national and international spectrum. Firstly, Timberland was initially non-concerned about the source of its hides, whether from the deforested areas or not. Secondly, the company had previously been none committed to forging alliances and collaborations aimed at addressing elevating deforestation in the hides’ sources countries.
Against this background, I understood that the angry intervention and signs of reprisal crystalizing, forced the company into action, a step that was eventually followed by other players in the industry. On further reading, the activists proceeded to exert pressure on the entire hides supply chain and governments to portray their support for environmental sustainability through swift actions to curtail deforestation. This culminated in widespread success with various stakeholders and law enforcement agencies stepping up to mitigate deforestation which is a fundamental step towards environmental sustainability.
On the completion of this reading, I was really marveled by the paramount role played by the activists in achieving environmental sustainability. This was followed by a probe into the role of this collective in the achievement of social sustainability which culminated in the exploration of Sandhu (2010) whereby I understood that it was only through heightened pressure emanating from public awareness coupled with pressure from the fledging green movements and institutions, for instance, World Wildlife Fund and Greenpeace that the instigation of widespread environmental legislations in North America and Europe was realized (290). Sandhu (2010, 302) inferred that in the future, the societal pressure will be robust in obliging businesses at the global level to go beyond the rudimentary level of regulatory compliance towards the adoption of strategic proactive strategies to environmental challenges. This is similar to social stability whereby I concurred with Sandhu (2010) whereby the reaction of the activists in responding to social disaster is a prudent mechanism of instilling a sense of social responsibility into corporate bodies whereby their decision will be founded on profound consideration of the social impacts of their undertakings. After completing these readings, I was completely marveled with the role that activists play in achieving both social and environmental sustainability which I had previously ignored.
This module really made me aware of the fact that it is not only the independent governmental policies that shape the tide of environmental conservation and social sustainability in a nation but the activists groups, despite their size play an integral role in achieving both of the above objectives in any nation.