Ravi Nitesh, New Delhi
At the time when capitalist are trying to take over the market without considering about environment and sustainable development methods, there is a need to provide support to cooperatives and to train, educate and empower the cooperatives.
Cooperatives are one of best ways to establish profit making groups as these are involved in empowering the people and thus contributing towards equality and social justice.
Unemployment is growing and thus the primary need is to provide income generation by providing employment to youths there. On the other hand, it must be noted that big corporate and plants may rupture the environment due to pollution, deforestations, displacement of people and waste disposals etc. Therefore the best option lying in the optimized utilization of natural resources and making sustainable and ecofriendly business in this traditionally rich state. Development can be achieved by establishing and promoting cooperatives in various sectors so that people can start work together and can achieve growth collectively.
Apart from this, it should also be noted that existing cooperatives and new cooperatives have to pay attention towards their working style in view of the environment.
In general view, cooperatives, due to its basis of formation (i.e. by the group of people) maintains a good network and mass approach vendors and customers of products/services. All these are its stakeholders and thus it may use all these links to enhance awareness about climate change.
These cooperatives may use strategies for protection of environment and to adopt ecofriendly techniques. These strategies also need some initiatives by the side of state and cooperatives themselves. Such as:
Training: Cooperatives need to be trained on efficient ways of resource utilization and wastage prevention. They should know that which process/way is the ecofriendly approach to get services and products.
Reward & recognition: Awards and recognitions could be provided to group members adopting better methods.
Internal green audit: Members of cooperatives need to learn techniques to measure and quantify the carbon emissions.
External green audit: Qualified and expert members from some cooperatives may form a joint committee for environmental audit of other cooperatives.
Traditional knowledge: Cooperatives could be promoted to send their inputs of traditional knowledge, for any work. It is because, traditional techniques, most often are nature friendly.
Promotion to green business: Cooperatives involved in green businesses need to be promoted.
Cooperative consultancy: Members of cooperatives may form a new cooperative just to provide low cost consultancy to other companies, institutions etc. to find the ways of reducing the carbon footprints.
New initiatives: Cooperative may start new initiatives such as cloth banks, where people can deposit their old clothes and then cooperative can use these for making bags. These bags will be cheap in cost because of availability of raw material (cloth) for free. These low cost bags may replace plastic bags.
Education to schools: Cooperatives should participate in voluntary services for spreading awareness in schools.
Fund Contribution: Cooperatives may associate themselves with other organizations working with the objective of climate change mitigation, and may contribute a certain percentage of their earnings to sponsor some programs running for the cause.
Small Steps: Some small steps such as printing of environmental slogans and quotes, tips to save environments etc. can be used on bills prints, packing, uniforms etc.
Local issues of environment: Cooperatives may get engaged with various local institutions to address climate change. They can get barren lands from local authority on lease, and can start plantation. They can also be involved in fisheries, ponds making, rain water harvesting, handicrafts etc. to become more involved with green business.
In fact, any cooperative can generate income by its existing strategy too but it would be beneficial to them if they will adopt such approach that may benefit to other people and environment as well. After all, its only our responsibility to think about the life of future generation as they are equally entitled to get all the natural resources that we are utilizing at present. For a just and equal society, for reducing the gap between economical status and for protection of environment, only sustainable development approach can bring a fruitful future for our earth.