[Letters] Green development

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[Letters] Green development

Green fever is sweeping the world of management recently. It is not so hard to find executives who assert that it is time to break from unconditional development and the logic of arithmetical efficiency and to balance with nature in consideration of the environment as their business philosophy. These movements are called sustainable development, a term that first appeared in the UN report in 1987. In this report, sustainable development is defined as development that meets the needs of this generation.

As environmental issues are not just the matter of one nation but have become a major international talking point, sustainable development is leading to national management. The United Nations Climate Change Conference held in Copenhagen, Denmark at the end of last year is a part of this context. Green development is now a global drift that cannot be defied. It is wise for us to take part to enhance our national competitiveness.

It is necessary to pay more attention to water resources. When I was young, I never imagined that there would be days when water would be sellable. Individuals do not notice it yet because of the high efficiency of water usage with a good infrastructure, however, it is clear that we need to call attention to water resources before it is too late.

Given concerns about water resources and recent efforts by local governments on environmental issues, the “GEM” campaign in the city of Goyang is worth notice. GEM is a compound word that combines Goyang and the acronym EM that stands for Effective Microorganism. A substance called EM, which was developed by Professor Teruo Higa of Ryukyus University in Japan in hopes of providing happiness to mankind rather than making profits for a few people, has boundless usefulness in many areas such as improving water quality, fermentation, environmental-friendly agriculture and animal husbandry. The GEM campaign induces interest and participation of citizens by distributing EM to people and educating them under the supervision of the city. It is a desirable campaign in the way that it correlates to a concept that was globally popular last year called “Nudge,” which induces self action not to compel or neglect.

An era that holds “how to develop without exerting bad influences as much as possible on environment” as a competitive power according to the aftereffects of industrialization has come. A nation cannot escape the current of the times like this. The more it plays a role in environmental issues, the easier it is to give a country moral satisfaction and superiority that can reinforce foreign negotiating power on a national level. In order to do that, the role of local governments are significant. If local governments put more effort into improving the environment, then the national competitiveness will naturally be reinforced.

Pae Ki-pyo,

CEO of Copetition Consulting Company Limited in Seoul
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