Shades of Green

Shades of Green

This essay will give a review on Shades of Green and analyze its arguments in relation to be academic contribution on the different topics that are mentioned in the book Shades of Green. The latest debates which have been triggered since the publishing of these books are also going to be discussed. Different topic will be analyzed and the basis of some arguments about the particular topics will also be discussed. This book has mentioned how organizations should be regulated in terms of how it manages and controls its waste products. These wastes tend to be harmful to the environment when gases are emitted into the Atmosphere.

Just recently the world had a total of approximately seven billion people. People may therefore, question on what has it go to do with human survival, forgetting that we have the responsibility   as humans in managing the environment in the most effective way. There is no chance in human survival if man doesn’t start acting now. This essay is therefore, going to examine issues of accountability, responsibility that we have as humans and the management of the environment in order for sustainable development to take place. Since the end of the World War II there has been a need to create unity among countries so as to ensure that there is international peace and security. However, we are forgetting today that peace cannot thrive if natural resources are being destroyed without considering the needs of the future generation. If all natural resources are going to all depleted this means that man might end up in another war against others for the sake of acquiring natural resources that are today being destroyed.

Currently there is a big debate on how countries ought to participate in controlling the effects of climate change. Although the issues of climate change may seem easy to understand it involves different people who share the same environment but have different interest. Most of the victims of climate change are currently the people from the developing countries. Climate change is an issue which everybody should understand and know the consequence for the sake of human survival.[1]

The book, Shades of Green, talks about the relationship between, the business communities the environment and how these business or corporate organization should be regulated or the sake of the protection of the Environment. The main argument is concerned about how sustainable development can be brought about by both the NGO’s, business organization and the community which relies on the environment for support. The roles of NGO’s are also emphasizes. The environment is seen as a crucial factor when it comes to sustainable environment especially for developing countries.[2]

When one looks at issues concerning the environment and how it has developed a lot of change has occurred. Conservation of the environment was more based on extinction of particular species of animals for instance sea lions, whales, polar bears among others. However, today there is also a realization that all living beings depend on each other; there is therefore a need for co-existence. The environmental regime has become more complex especially with the many people who are involved with it and the rules and regulations that have been put in place especially since the meeting in Copenhagen regarding climate change.

Going green is a term used the environmentalist on going against agricultural and industrial development. It is more of supporting environmental diversity conserving the animal species which are at risk of extinction and looking for other solutions for energy other than oil reserves. It is thanks to the environmentalists that we today have cleaner and environmental legislation that are put in place so that people are more aware on issues affecting our environment. Apparently many human activities have led to the emissions of gasses that the biosphere cannot take. This is very serious considering that the human population is continuously growing meaning that more resources are needed to be consumed.[3]

The main elements which are therefore discussed include the environment, NGO’s and the business community. In order to manage our environment it is very important that the works and business organization are monitored and regulated so that they have a positive impact on the conservation of the Environment. Negotiation is very important so that both the NGOs can come in and discuss matters which affect them directly and indirectly. However, NGO’s coalition can actually marginalize interest groups especially in the opinion of cooperate organizations.[4]

An example can be given from mining which took place in Australia in 1979 the cooperate organization which were involved included the British Petroleum company and western mining Corporation. Mining took place in an impoverished aboriginal community. There were therefore, people from this aboriginal community who thought that mining will benefit them. However, there were opposition groups which included NGOs   which were focused on the environmental conservation. This opposition group joined forces with the aboriginal community but all of these were in vain because the government decided to pass a law which did not support the aboriginal heritage. This is despite the   formation of alliances by the Indigenous communities or the natives. Some international non governmental organizations allied with the cooperate organizations so as to get a compensation. One can, therefore, say that the indigenous communities and the NGO’s play a big role when it comes to conservation of the environment. There are also other similar cases such as Uranium mining in Canada where mining still continued despite a lot of opposition from the local community. I agree on the fact that the NGOs have a role to play in the conservation of the environment, however  the indigenous people are the ones who can fight aggressively for their environment because it affects directly. NGOs will be there to seek for compensation but at the end of the day the NGOs are just following the mandate of their jobs while the community is fighting for their survival. The government is therefore, in a better position to support the indigenous communities[5]

Many NGO’s which focus a lot on the conservation of the environment have sympathized with the indigenous communities who are affected by activities of corporate organizations which come and destroy their environment. There is also some conflict between the communities itself in that some may be attracted between the economic benefits while the conserved leaders may argue that such kind of development brought by business organization may lead to destruction of the spiritual and cultural association with the land.[6]

In general human beings, want to consume and more without any realization on the impact it has on the environment. It also important to note that it is very hard to restrict consumption this is because man cannot live without consuming. According to Judge, Humans have to introduce a plan which can enhance sustainability. Judge gives an idea on how man ought to live with the environment and this is, living knowing that our future depends on it. These plans may include minimization of waste and promoting recycling as part of conserving the environment. In order to ensure that there is a future for our future generation we have to make sure that enough resources are left for them in order to survive. The idea of sustainability has been there for a while now on the issue of environmental conservation but the important issue here is, is it really being implemented well enough.[7]

Nongovernmental organizations (NGO’s) thus play a role in bringing the indigenous community together and the cooperate organizations to an agreement on how their environment will be used and how they can also be compensated. NGO’s have a lot of power and skills in negotiation and also in relief services for the benefit of the indigenous community. However, there have been reports on the abuse of humanitarian funds .People working for NGOs have been accused of corruption .It therefore possible to say that NGOs have been questioned on its accountability. I agree with Bendell that there might have been abuse in NGO’s but I do not really believe that it is time to point fingers at different individuals. Our ability to conserve the environment in the most responsible and accountable manner, depends on how strong we are together as humans, who have the common interest in surviving in this world today. Man may want to consume more but in order to consume we also have to survive, the environment is therefore a priority[8]

Corporate organizations have also come to influence sustainable development especially in terms of sustainable development. This can especially be seen in the introduction of corporate social responsibility which is also known as CSR. Today, many governments prepare, prescribe and promote the standards for CSR (corporate social Responsibility).Issues such as transparency and accountability are also emerging in the government on how to regulate the NGOs.[9]

In 1993, there was an agreement on environmental groups and the business community which dealt with timber. In this agreement customers were to choose the products from companies which were responsible for the environmental conservation. Forestry organizations that took matters concerning the environment seriously and apparently gained more profits, in that they share the communities concern and at the same time the community supports them. This is also known as a non-statutory standard to the development of corporate social Responsibility. This was contributed by the Forest Strewardship Council which deals with the management of forests in the world.[10]

The concept of Sustainable development as a target for all member State and the cooperate world was established in 1992 during the earth summit. It was  said that  that sustainable development,” is the development that  meets the need of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations  to meet their own needs” p 264.Despite many government emphasizing on corporate social responsibility  it has not been a requirement by the law, but issues concerning the environment are still addressed. Corporate social responsibility has integrated the economic, social and environmental decisions especially when it comes to the making of a decision in an organization.[11]

Shades of Green, has focused on how the environment can be managed in an effective way through the corporative organizations and Nongovernmental organizations. Organization such as F.A.O (food and agricultural organization) which is a U.N agency has a particular code of conduct that has to be followed. These codes of conduct have to be followed both from the organization and the external codes of conduct from the international Organization for Standardization.[12]

When the indigenous community has an external representative they are more likely to influence the corporative talents in not talking to them at all. The indigenous communities are seen as Environmental nongovernmental organizations partners (ENGO’s). Business companies are therefore, able to avoid any form of communication with the indigenous community.[13] The many stakeholders who are involved including the corporate, government, ENGOs and indigenous communities all have similar interest. This is apart from the Environmental non –governmental organizations and the corporations. The ENGO’s interest is based on the charter of the organization. This kind of organization will have to be accountable to their headquarters.[14]

Over the past 60 years NGO’s have become really popular since its appearance in the U.N charter. This is especially concerning matters such as human rights, environmental protection and international development. NGO’s is not governmental neither does it want power from the government. They are non-profit organizations and usually get funds from philanthropic affiliated organization. According to an Opinion poll, people tend to trust more on NGO’s especially when it comes to issues of sustainable development   compared to government and business organization.[15] NGO’s are important in creation of a public awareness on the climate change in the world today. The United Nations are highly dependant on the NGO’s so that they can be able to monitor the event that are affecting the world today.[16]

The position that our planet is in currently is in a very confusing state one that a scientist stated that, “We’re in a giant Car headings towards a brick wall and everyone’s arguing on where they’re going to sit.”[17] Everybody seems to have different opinion and ideas which is guided by their self interest. Shades of Green emphasize on the impact the development has had on humanity and how it is likely to affect the future for the next generation. It is therefore important for everybody to be headed towards the same direction so that it strengthens our capability of attaining sustainable development.

Since the 1970’s mining of Uranium in the Australia there have also been, conflict in the other regions which concerns the drilling of resources which are highly demanded in the market for instance, oil in Niger Delta. Residents had campaigned against Shell Petroleum Company, apart from the negative environmental impact it brought about a lot of violence and many people died in the process. The conflict that arises due to the environment not only causes environmental destruction but also leads to human death both in the short and in the long run.[18]

According to the chart above there are many ways of generating electricity. It also shows how the United States uses most in the generation of electricity. However, all the forms of energy used have an impact on the environment. It is said that the combination of power and heat reduces the amount of fuel which required in the production of energy. This also reduces emissions of gases which pollute the environment   and also emit the greenhouse gases. Renewable resources have do not contribute to climate change; this is because no fuels are emitted into the   air.[19]

Energy consumptions have been one of the most important aspects when it comes to the conservation of our environment. The main Environmental conflicts which arise are the effect that it has on the biosphere and how it affects climate change. All these important element of climate are still being discussed in Durban, following the Kyoto Protocol which will expire in 2012.However, countries such as the United States will not be affected because it did not ratify the treaty.

One may therefore conclude that the issue of environment is still a complex issue. The stakeholders are so many i.e. these stakeholders also have different interest which conflict with each other. The business organization may only look on how they will benefit as a company while the indigenous communities look at what they are loosing as a community. Despite the NGO’s and the indigenous communities having the same interest they may sometimes differ. The issue of ensuring sustainable development is thus very difficult to ensure.

What has also made the conservation of the environment more complex is globalization. Different countries have different priorities and interests. This implies that even if several countries unite for a green solution which means using energy which is not bad for the environment and which can be recycled some countries pulled out. For instance, many developed countries have been threatening to pull out of the Kyoto protocol. It quite evident that environmental management involves a lot of regulations so as to ensure sustainable development.


Ali, S.H. Shades of Green NGO coalitions, mining companies and the pursuit of negotiating power.2000 Greenleaf Publishing Limited. Retrieved 5th of December 2011<>

Bendell, J, Debating NGO accountability, UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service. 2006. Retrieved on the 5th of December 2011<>

Bendell J, A. Miller & K Wortmann, “Public policies for scaling corporate

Responsibility standards. Sustainability Accounting” Management and Policy Journal, 2011, vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 263-293.

Chandler, W & R Schaeffer et al, Policy, Climate change mitigation in developing counties, 2002. Retrieved 5th of December 2011<>

Deen, T, UN.: NGOS are Political Outcasts at High-level U.N

Meetings, 2011. Retrieved 5th of December 2011 <


Harris, R, What Will Become Of The Kyoto Climate Treaty? Retrieved 5th of December 2011 <> 2011

Judge, R P, “Treasures of the earth: need, greed, and a sustainable future,” Choice, 2010 Jun, vol. 47, no.10.

Ravindranath, NH & JA Sathaye, Climate Change and Developing Countries, Kluwer Academic publishers, Netherlands, 2002.

Siegle, L, “Green Giants: The Eco Power List,” Observer Magazine January, 16 2011 Retrieved 5th of December 2011 <>

United States Environmental Protection Agency, Energy and You, 14 Nov 2008. Retrieved 5th of December 2011 <>

Waddington, P, Shades of Green, Eden Project Groups, Great Britain, 2008.

[1] NH Ravindranath & A Jayant Sathaye, Climate Change and Developing Countries, Kluwer Academic publishers:, Netherlands 2002.

[2] W Chandler & R Schaeffer et al , Policy, Climate change mitigation in developing counties , 2002.Retrieved 5th of December 2011. <>

[3] P Waddington, Shades of Green, Eden Project Groups:, Great Britain., 2008.

[4] SH Ali, Shades of green NGO coalitions, mining companies and the pursuit of negotiating power, 2000 Greenleaf Publishing Limited. Retrieved 5th of December 2011<>

[5] Ibid p 4

[6] Ibid p.3

[7] R P Judge, Treasures of the earth: need, greed, and a sustainable future”

Choice; 2010 Jun, vol.47, no.10.

[8] Jem, Bendell. Debating NGO accountability. UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service. 2006. Retrived 5th of December 2011 <>

[9] J Bendell, A Miller & K Wortmann. “Public policies for scaling corporate Responsibility standards. Sustainability Accounting” Management and Policy Journal, 2011 vol. 2 no. 2, pp. 263-293.

[10] Ibid p 266

[11] Ibid p 264

[12] Ibid p 267

[13] SH Ali, Shades of green NGO coalitions, mining companies and the pursuit of negotiating power,2000 Greenleaf Publishing Limited. Retrieved   5th of December 2011<>

[14] Ibid p 10

[15] J Bendell, Debating NGO accountability. UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service. 2006. Retrieved 5th of December 2011 <>

[16] T Deen, U.N.: NGOS are Political Outcasts at High-level U.N Meetings, 2011. Retrieved 5th of December 2011   <


[17] L Siegle, “Green Giants: The Eco Power List.” Observer Magazine, 16 Jan 2011. Retrieved  5th of December 2011 <>

[18] Ibid p. 19

[19] United States Environmental Protection Agency , Energy and You, 14 Nov 2008. Retrieved 5th of December 2011  <>

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