Garbage: A problem that dirty businessmen

Despite the growing theoretical discussion regarding the positive or negative relationship between companies and the environment, it is impossible to ignore the impact of the major environmental problems caused by our way of producing, consuming and how and who should solve pollution. and the garbage that this generates.

Mexico City produces 11 tons of garbage daily, just in homes, to which industrial waste must be added. Within this problem, the insensitivity of the common citizen can be pointed out, since the last thing the Mexican does is think about the garbage he generates, and the consequent damage to our planet. The structural violence of which they are victims, economic instability and in many cases poverty, prevent them from focusing their attention on environmental issues, contrary to citizens of industrialized countries.

However, the entrepreneur is among the most privileged sectors of society, so it is up to him to take responsibility for what he manufactures and the final destination that his product must have.

Within this framework, it is necessary to return to the definition of Sustainable Development given in 1987 in the Brundtland Rapport Report by the Commission on Environment and Development of the United Nations Organizations. This report defines that "sustained development is development that meets the needs of the present, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."[2]".

In the productive field it implies understanding that the process of extracting raw materials severely impacts the environment. However, this continues in the production, distribution processes and, importantly, in the packaging of the products. In this way, the industrial sector is largely responsible for the generation of garbage, so each of the procedures must be reviewed in order to minimize waste and plan production so that it does not generate more pollution in the future.

Corporate responsibility for garbage

The businessman must consider separate garbage collection viable in order to have his own recycling plant that allows him to treat the waste and reuse it. Likewise, the health rules are strict so actions should not only be taken when the company is about to be audited.

The main principle is that good waste planning is cheaper than subsequent waste treatment. Within the philosophy of sustainable development, it is contemplated that production generates greater energy loss when it is not oriented towards minimizing inputs, and when the possibility of reusing material already used is ignored.

In the case of Mexican companies, it is a fact that growing globalization and the various free trade agreements demand high levels of quality in both production and final results. For these purposes, certification is one of the instruments that guarantee the quality of the work of companies, which not only contemplates the technical aspects, but also the environmental impact of the companies.

To this end, the application of the ISO 14000 standard represents not only the possibility of growing in the face of the world market situation, but also the possibility of implementing resource maximization systems that can be valid in the long term and that surpass the benefits of " disappearance" of waste.

Producing a product in returnable packaging, for example, guarantees that the material will be reused and expenses will tend to be lower. On the other hand, the businessman is responsible for the task of generating an environmental culture within his company, which translates into a revaluation of the work and energy used in production.

Finally, business action represents a sector of political and economic power that can exert pressure on environmental issues and that directly affects the maximization of resources. The possibilities of trading at high levels and growing as a company also reside in the image one has of the company, so it is impossible to ignore the environmental impact that industrial activities cause. Achieving efficient processes that generate profits and create a competitive industry now focuses on the global vision that the entrepreneur can achieve.

* Blanca Almaguer