I recently blogged about comparing the cost of a local handmade corsage to that of a factory imported one. Now a report for the UN into the activities of the worlds 3,000 largest public companies has estimated the costs to the environment of their activities.
They estimate that more than a third of their profits would be wiped out if they were financially accountable for the damage they do. They reckon the top firms cause $2.2 trillion dollars worth of damage (£1.4tn) Yes, that's Trillion! That doesn't even take account of the consumption of those goods ie energy used in using the goods, waste, disposal etc. Nor does it take account of "social impacts" ie of people being driven out of affected areas, health problems and so on.
To add a few of my own: there's also all the tax they often avoid paying which may of gone some way to addressing their activities. Encouraging a throw away society. Driving everyones wages down (except the CEOs). Cheapening talent by plagarising artists work. It all adds up to, in my estimation, a beeping high cost!
Why do we keep shopping at these corporations? Is it a lack of alternatives? Is it a lack of knowledge? Is it a lack of caring? There's only one planet and people do matter. Isn't it time we changed our shopping habits and encouraged others to follow? If we don't they continue to make millions at our expense and trash our environment. They continue to make mugs of us all.
(Pretty bag pictured from Not Mass Produced made from vintage materials)