(File pix) Environmental auditing should be an integral part of corporate management. Pix by Fahd Rahmat

DESPITE our hectic schedules, it is necessary to spare a little time to ask what we need to do to deal with environmental threats.

It is necessary to reflect on the fact that humans have destroyed nature, which is needed for the stability of Earth.

We have experienced flash floods and landslides and, yet, the lessons of these disasters have not been learnt.

As trustee of our planet’s resources and biological diversity, we must use our natural resources to ensure conservation.

Sustainable environmental conservation and preservation must not be viewed as a discretionary commitment that we weigh against other competing economic interests.

Instead, we must re-examine our beliefs and actions. We must view this as a fundamental part of our spiritual development, as well as our physical survival.

We have a responsibility to protect the diversity on this planet.

However, if all we do is place an economic value on biodiversity, then we will always be undervaluing it.

We need all the skills and knowledge we can muster to keep our planet safe and beautiful for future generations.

Numerous environmental tragedies have proven to us that if we are not going to make peace with our environment, the destruction will be all the more greater in the future.

At a time when environmental concerns in the business sector are being given greater focus across the globe, environmental auditing should be an integral part of corporate management.

With the advent of the green corporate culture, there is a need for businesses to be more conscious of environmental issues.

Companies must realise there is more to gain by preserving the environment.

Problems relating to illegal land clearing, deforestation and dumping of hazardous industrial waste have been highlighted in the media.

Unless those concerned are prepared to address these issues, they will not only have to bear the full brunt of the law, but lose out as trade barriers fall in the global market.

As has been observed, there is an emerging trend among corporations, particularly at the international level, to disclose information on environment policies, goals and programmes to the public.

The fact that Malaysian companies need to improve their environmental accounting system is based on the realisation that this trend may become an established corporate practice worldwide, which governs investment decisions.

Hopefully, the need for environmental accounting by companies will lead to a change in the mindset of management of
companies on environmental issues.

Companies should not secure profits at the expense of the environment as they have a social responsibility to inform stakeholders of the impact their
businesses has on the environment.

Companies and foreign investors must practise self-monitoring, self-enforcement and also focus on sustainable projects and green technology.

Those responsible for environmental degradation should be held accountable.

We share the same home. Our lives are connected with others.

If are mindful of our civic responsibility and be vigilant against polluting our environment, and to inspire others to do the same, then, the impact on the world shall be great.

History has an important lesson for humanity and that is, civilisation can be destroyed if it does not make peace with the environment.

No one can deny the importance of the environment with regards to civilisation.

Can something be done to address environmental degradation? Can we have a new para-digm of development that makes peace with Earth?

As political leaders, as community leaders and as citizens, we can and we must.


TAN SRI LEE LAM THYE

Kuala Lumpur

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