Lily pads and building reflection

Environmental Management 3.0

Environmental management 3.0 combines the strengths from natural science and social science and adds cultural awareness. This third (meta) perspective is aimed at understanding why environmental issues are important. EM 3.0™ values emotions as much as it values facts. EM 3.0™ manages issues.

Our desire to protect the environment is based on a common cultural heritage and which we don’t take into account. We can be absolutely convinced that environmental protection is necessary, but may not have questioned our underlying motives. We can find confirmation in other people’s opinion without realizing that our agreement may be based on a common upbringing.

This is one of the reasons that environmental discussions are so often polarized and highly emotional. Not only is being misunderstood by another person highly frustrating, being confronted with other points of view can also be threatening. Without a clear understanding of the underlying motives, parties tend to present their arguments in ever changing ways, each time hoping to finally be understood. Significant management resources are tied up in maintaining a stand-off, while parties hold on to their own versions of ‘being right’.

The key to effective environmental communication lies in the acknowledgement of the passionate nature of environmental issues. It lies in acknowledging that we do not know how clean the environment should be or what the quality of our lives ought to be. It lies in acknowledging our fear as well as adoration of nature. And it lies in acknowledging the concerns for the environment as well as the case for development. Once we acknowledge this, we are bringing the subconscious aspects of environmental protection to the surface and we can manage them for what they are, rather than for what they are disguised at.

This seems to add a layer of complexity, but actually, it removes one instead. Instead of responding to symptoms it responds to underlying issues. Openness leads to better solutions. EM 3.0™ manages issues.

EM 3.0™ is an EnvAid trademark. Copyright Jos Tissen 2002 – All rights reserved.

Muhammad Ali

Often it isn’t the mountains ahead that wears you out, it’s the little pebble in your shoe.