1. productivity at the expense of environmental sustainability

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1. Introduction

It is noticeable that modern businesses are
focused more on maximizing production and productivity at the expense of
environmental sustainability and management. Current efforts by manufacturers include
using renewable energy sources and focusing on recycling among other
environmental practices that have been accepted as public relations than the actual
objective of achieving corporate social responsibility. This has led to
increased instances of “green-washing customers into purchasing products that
do not fully support environmental sustainability” (Andrews, 310). These practices outline the challenge for increased
consumer behavior where consumers prefer fast fashion and follow latest trends,
while firms are producing goods that are definitely short-lived. This uncontrolled
culture is supported by the concept of planned obsolescence where manufacturers
are reducing the lifespan of products to sustainable production and sales. This
environmental sustainability paper seeks to educate manufacturers and
government organizations.

2. Educational Context and
Target Group

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The scope of the
target group qualifies the context for the meeting to be organized into a
formal type of educational session. The sessions will be organized in
partnership with environmental organizations, as well as the United Nations
Environmental Program (UNEP) (Huckle & Arjen, 497).  Moreover, it will involve attending a well-planned
meeting that is detailed and realistic to the views of sustainable policies to
govern manufacturing activities.

The target group
is composed mainly of manufacturers. Also, it will include representatives from
the government sectors in charge of policies on environmental management,
conservation and sustainability.

3. Specific Goal(s) and
Objective(s) of Educational Experience

The topic of
focus is to increase the lifespan of products to reduce depletion of natural
resources. The government has to execute policies aimed at protecting
non-renewable resources by setting limits for the lifespan of some products to
reduce the impact of planned obsolescence.

The key message
to manufacturers is to invest extensive time into research and development to
improve the quality of their products. This is more focused on targeting non-decaying
products such as electronics, which could be created to have a longer lifespan.

This should be confirmed through laws that ensure that firms produce long-lasting

The lesson aims
to create awareness of the fact that manufacturers are shortening the lifespan
of products and designing them in a manner that makes them fail within a given
time. Such failure forces consumers to purchase new products while being forced
to dispose of the old one. This issue causes disposal problems while also
depleting available resources.

The key question
to consider is for manufacturers to think of ways of replacing faulty
components in electronics instead of having to dispose of the entire product
and buying another. This is the case in printers where manufacturers preset
them to print a certain number of paper after which they jam automatically. Why
would a manufacturer intentionally set a machine to glitch?

The main experience
to be developed by learners is the use of critical thinking to provide long-lasting
solutions that ensure the durability of electronics while at the same time,
ensuring that firms make profits that are sustainable. This will prevent firms
from exploiting natural resources to produce products that are short-lived.


4. Framework of Education

The best explanation of this sustainability
education session will be a learning experience for sustainable development.

The role of
education for sustainable development as explained by UESCO (2014) is to ensure
that all human beings acquire necessary knowledge, skills, attitudes and values
that encourage a sustainable future. As a part of the recommendation to policymakers,
it should be mandatory for graduates to take on manufacturing courses to learn more
about environmental sustainability. This indicates that environmental sustainability
has to be integrated into the curriculum to enhance an individual’s learning experience.

This will allow students to acquire knowledge that enables them to address the concerns
of sustainable development. In addition, this will help in managing cases of
planned obsolescence and other activities involving shortening product lifecycles
and lifespans.

It is important
that the education system of a country teaches values, skills, and knowledge
that promotes a positive change in attitude towards sustainable development. This
includes consumers and suppliers who have to be educated to change their
attitude towards old products. The current culture needs to be replaced with a
culture that promotes the most concern for the environment. Furthermore,
education from such a perspective will ensure that countries achieve
sustainable development. This will mean that firms will be able to “operate
sustainably by either investing more on research development products that suit
consumer needs or by selling spare parts for their products to continuously
make profits” (Barth & Marco, 109). This will ensure consistency in
employment and help achieve sustainable growth of national economies.

The integration
of sustainable development will ensure that manufacturers restructure their
value and supply chain to maximize efficiency, reduce wastage, and produce
higher quality products. Second, sustainable development will ensure countries
produce goods that are competitive on the global market based on their longer
lifespan and fair pricing compared to those with a shorter lifespan. Third, encouragement
of sustainable development will ensure that even though there are reduced
manufacturing activities, firms will still be able to maintain their expenses
and profit margins. Therefore, the use of sustainable development strategies will
help individuals change their attitude and values towards new products that
have shorter life spans. Moreover, government agencies will be required to
focus more on introducing lessons on manufacturing efficiency at various stages
of the educational curriculum. Besides, they will be required to provide
sustainability development classes which will help students build skills and
the right attitude to support firms that invest more in sustainable
manufacturing processes.

Categories: Management


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