The Whanganui River in New Zealand’s north island has just been granted the same rights as a citizen. The river can now defend its wellbeing, while suggesting how its water is used. Through its guardians, the river can fight in court for these rights.
This big decision presents an intriguing opportunity for forward thinking businesses to improve how they are viewed by their customers and the community.
This new legislation is another step towards the public’s (customers) changing view on the environment. There have been other clues of this changing view as well. Documentaries such as The Inconvenient Truth. Leonardo DiCaprio meeting with US Presidents to discuss the environment. The coral bleaching in the Great Barrier Reef. Smog levels threatening to top the scale in Beijing.
Whether you agree or not, the public is being influenced by these events. Public perception is important because it influences how companies are run.
Some businesses already operate with a triple bottom line philosophy, with social and environmental, as well as their economical key performance indicators. Others are taking the time to ensure their interaction with the environment is beneficial.
Across the world MAK Water has designed and manufactured treatment plants that can treat 1.2 million litres of waste water every day. That is equivalent to stopping 16 semi-trailers filled with waste water dumping into creeks, streams and rivers each day.
As the public becomes more influenced by legislation and events like the Whanganui River, they will become more interested in whether the people and companies they interact with share the same values.
The water assets you look after are important. Your company’s interaction with the water, soil and air is a real opportunity to show your customers you share the same values and appreciate the environment which we all share.
Jack Mason, MAK Water Service Supervisor QLD