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Friday, April 22, 2016

Strategic CSR - Earth Day

The article in the url below presents an interesting take on our symbiotic relationship with our environment, in its broadest sense:
"The lead in the water in Flint, Mich., is a devastating reminder of how closely human health is intertwined with the environment. While the Flint crisis may be an egregious example of cruelty and neglect, the damaging consequences of a broken environment are all around us, a new tally by the World Health Organization shows."
Specifically, the article focuses on the number of deaths caused by the dangers present in our environment, almost all of which are the result of human activity:
"Nearly a quarter of all deaths worldwide are caused by environmental risks like polluted air, dirty water, hazardous workplaces, and dangerous roads, according to the WHO report. The global health authority estimates that 12.6 million deaths in 2012, or about 23 percent of the total, were attributable to such factors."
However approximate this total is, what is equally fascinating are the categories of deaths that are not included in these numbers:
"The WHO report—which doesn't count risks that depend on individual behavior, such as smoking and diet—looks at the environment broadly, including 'physical, chemical, and biological factors external to a person' that can be modified. It focuses on environmental risks that are the product of the societal decisions that shape the world we live in."
What is also interesting is how the main causes of death have shifted over time:
"More people around the globe have gotten access to clean water, sanitation, and less harmful household cooking fuels. That transition has led to a decline in infectious diseases. At the same time, non-communicable diseases like heart disease and cancer account for a growing share of death and illness worldwide."
The underlying message is that all these causes are preventable. We build the environment in which we all live. As such we can change it, if we want to.
Happy Earth Day!
David Chandler & Bill Werther
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Our Broken Environment Kills a Quarter of Us
By John Tozzi
March 14, 2016
Bloomberg Businessweek