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WEEK 7 NOTES: NATURAL ENVIRONMENT AND TECHNOLOGYIntroduction Business, society and the environment are deeply interrelated Business and society operate within and depend on the natural environment Natural Capital: refers to the world’s stocks of natural assets, including geology, soil, air, water and all living things Assets make human life possible, thus important to operate sustainably in a way that does not destroy or deplete these natural resources for future generations Applies to systems theory: business cannot be understood in isolation understand it in relation to the broader natural environment Ecosystem: single unified natural system Sustainable development Highlights the need for balance between economic progress and environmental protection Development that “meets the needs of the present without compromising the abilityof future generations to meet their own needs.”Ensuring a better quality of life for everyone, now and for the generations to come Sustainable development is about fairnessFairness requires that benefits and burdens of an action be distributed equitably according to an accepted rule Likewise, sustainable development requires an equitable distribution of benefits gained from the use of natural resources for both current generations an future generations and across generations ie rich or poor will benefit, and future or current generations will also benefit Core Ideas of the concept: 1.Economic development is required in order to protect the environment Poverty cause of environmental degradationpeople who lack, food shelter and basic amenities misuse resources just to survive Therefore in order to protect the environment, need to have economic development so that a decent standard of living can be provided to citizens around the world 2.Economic development must be sustainable Cannot occur at the expense of the degradation of the planet Threats to the earth’s ecosystem Humanity has entered a new era, called the Anthropocene, in which human activity has become the dominant influence on climate and the environment. Challenges businesses now face:Limited supplies of critical resources Unpredictable weather changes Increased political risk
Opportunities business have:Established firms and innovative entrepreneurs who can figure out how to address environmental challenges can both help society and enjoy great commercial success. Forces of Change Three critical factors have combined to accelerate the ecological crisis facing the world community and to make sustainable development more difficult:Population growthwill put an increasing strain on the earth’s finite resources.

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