Unfortunately, those nations that have reached this pinnacle of industrialization first (i.e. the U.S. and the EU) have ruined it for the younger economies. And now, there simply is no time for finger pointing. If we want to sustain life on this planet as we have come to know it, not only for ourselves but for our children’s children, we must collectively agree to live by a higher environmental standard and an ethical code of conduct that applies to every human being, regardless of economic standing or geography.
As the European Union and the United States continue to mature, our governments must make the commitment to become leaders on issues of environmental sustainability, social responsibility and product-safety. If we zero in on our industry, there is a great deal of progress that could be made. And while everyone is clamoring to decide who bears the brunt of responsibility regarding each one of these topics, it is my sincere hope that after thumbing through this issue, each reader comes to realize the burden of responsibility lies with every one of us. As individuals or corporate entities, it is no longer a choice to act responsibly—it is our duty, and in many cases, our legal obligation to do so.
It is time to grow up and get up off of the Freudian couch. The fixated kid in the candy shop—guzzling oil, ignoring
basic human rights for cheap labor and products—must grow up. Our future depends on it.