Would you rather have a job or breathe clean air? Unfortunately, that is a choice that millions of people around the world make each day – the choice between good health or livelihood that will give them enough to feed themselves or their families. In too many countries and cities around the world, the quest (or desperation) for economic growth comes with a price that not only harms the environment but the very people that growth is supposed to help.
Tomorrow, April 22, is Earth Day, a day that serves to remind us that growth for growth’s sake is not the goal. Rather, the goal is to generate growth and opportunity that improves the lives of citizens in our communities. In an age of tremendous technological innovation and global programs aimed at improving the environment, we are reminded that much of the world’s economic development comes with a heavy price.
Last month China declared war on pollution because in many of its cities, air pollution is reaching levels that are causing vehement protests from citizens. While the United States is not free of risk or environmental pollution, we are very fortunate to live in a country where there is awareness, debate, and a balance between economic development and environmental interests.
A great example of this in the Columbus Region is through one of our oldest and most important employers. Greif is a very successful manufacturer of industrial packaging products and solutions but has made sustainability a core value. Through this focus, they have also developed PackH2O, which helps to transport safe drinking water in developing countries. They’re proving that growing your business and sustaining the environment are not opposing ideas.
One Columbus Update
- Last week, our team attended MORPC’s State of the Region luncheon. Congratulations to Eric Phillips of Union County, ED411 and Marjory Pizzuti for receiving well-deserved honors at the event, and kudos to MORPC for kicking off insight2050, an important step in helping our region to understand our economic potential and plan for the future.
- Our team has returned from a productive business development mission in China where we participated in the Pearl River Delta SelectUSA Roadshow and met with dozens of companies and consultants. Our team also held productive meetings throughout New England last week.
- Along with a number of regional businesses, educational institutions and civic leaders, we look forward to taking part in the Central Ohio Compact.
- Next week, our team will travel to Pinehurst for the IAMC Spring 2014 Professional Forum.