There are numerous wicked problems faced by the world at large today. A wicked problem is ideally a problem which is impossible to solve. There are various such problems that inflict the world at the current moment. These problems include pollution, corruption, poverty, or depletion of natural resources. This is because it is impossible to fathom the impact of these problems as they are consistently changing (Head & Alford, 2015). It is never possible to measure the exact amount of pollution in the environment just like the exact impact of corruption cannot be valued in numbers.
It is imperative to continue putting efforts in the direction of resolving these wicked problems. Such problems have no determinable stopping point. It is often said that the solution of a wicked problem is not ‘right or wrong’ but the answer lies in ‘better or worse’ (Australian public service commission, 2012). This report throws light on the wicked problem of environmental pollution and increasing carbon content in the environment. Pollution has been a raising concern since the last few decades. There have been various efforts that have been put in order to curb the impact of this wicked problem. However, the problem is not as easily tamable and the extent of environmental pollution can only be reduced and never entirely end.
There are various campaigns that have been organized by leading organizations which are aimed at curbing pollution of the environment. This report highlights global efforts of automobile giant Toyota and local efforts of New Delhi, India. Both these campaigns have burnt the midnight oil in coming up with innovative and unique strategies to reduce the environmental pollution. Today, both the campaigns are a source of inspiration for various other businesses owing to their exceptional efforts to save the planet from devastating impact of increased pollution.
Clean air campaign - India
India is country with one of the largest populations in the world. It is a developing economy and one of the most progressive countries within the Asian subcontinent. The capital of India, New Delhi has been reported to produce mammoth levels of pollution on a daily basis. The city has been a victim of various diseases owing to rising levels of pollution (Rizwan, Nongkynrih & Gupta, 2013). Affected population includes children, adults and senior citizens. An anti-pollution campaign was required because the levels of pollution experienced in the capital city were unbearable for children and senior citizens. The doctors of the city had declared a pollution emergency and schools were shut down for a period of 8 days.
Last month, a two week campaign was launched in New Delhi which lasted from 10 February 2018 to 23 February 2018. The central as well as the state government joint hands and established 70 joint teams that comprised of officials from Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Delhi government, Delhi pollution control committee (DPCC) and municipal corporations (The Hindu, 2018). All the teams were connected to a control room set up in the CPCB premises. This campaign was a sincere and very serious effort to bring down pollution levels of the city. The city generates 131 tons of dirt every day. Curbing the same, would lead to reduced pollution. These colossal levels of pollution forced the Delhi government to launch the ‘Clean Air Campaign’. This campaign was extremely aggressive with a zero tolerant policy towards polluters (Gore, 2018).
Important features of the campaign included mandating fresh environmental clearance to all buildings and infrastructures. All the roads leading to construction sites were blacktopped. Excavation of soil in any part of the city required effective dust mitigation methods in place. Water sprinklers were installed at different places in the city. New wind breakers were installed and old wind breakers were repaired. Lastly, pollution control measures were taken for vehicles driven in the city.
Besides ensuring that the city’s dust levels are reduced, Delhi government took strict measures in curbing pollution caused by vehicles as well. The ‘Even’odd’ campaign was also introduced. In this campaign, the government allowed even and odd numbered vehicles to commute on alternate days (Pathak, 2018). For example on Monday, only vehicles which had an odd number were allowed to be driven. Similarly, on Tuesday, only vehicles which had an even number were allowed to be driven. This overall reduced the number of vehicles on road drastically and hence led to reduced pollution.
Through this campaign, various presentations, workshops and seminars were organized in leading schools and colleges of the city. This was done to spread awareness about the issue of air pollution to youngsters. National digital forums were also launched to discuss the campaign and spread awareness about the same. Inspired by the campaign and the impact of the same, a national campaign called ‘Green Good Deeds’ was also launched.
During the first four days of the campaign, 810 violations were noted by the teams and the violators were sent immediate notices. Various technologically advanced solutions were discussed which could provide the city a long term solution to its pollution problem. 4347 notices were sent across the city. Through these notices, the government earned a sum of INR 540 million.
Data collected from CPCB showed that the air quality in Delhi was ‘Very Poor’ before the campaign. The air quality moved from very poor to ‘moderate’ in the first three days of the campaign. CPCB has confirmed that there has been a significant reduction to the quality of pollution in the city as the previous year has witnessed no ‘moderate’ air quality days. The campaign was an overall success. The schools reopened and young children were learning about the impact of excessive air pollution in the city.
However, there were a few unintended consequences of this campaign. The even-odd rule that was introduced as a part of the campaign hampered every day activities of various citizens of the city (Desarkar, 2018). The public transport was not equipped to taken on the additional demand and hence the policy faced immense criticism from the locals of the city. Secondly, once the campaign was over, the air quality moved from ‘moderate’ to ‘poor’. This quality is better than what was stated before the campaign but there is still room for improvement. In order to address these issues the Delhi government must continue to launch similar campaigns within short intervals and establish strict policies regarding pollution emission in terms of vehicles as well as industries.
This campaign was launched to address a local problem of the Indian subcontinent. Therefore this campaign was just 14 days long and impacted a small geographical area. On the other hand, the next campaign is a perfect example to address the problem of global pollution.
Toyota – Save the environment
Toyota has been an undisputable leader of the automobile industry and has been one of the leading brands that have changed the shape of the automobile industry since its inception. Toyota has always been working towards curbing the pollution of the environment. This is a credible effort especially because most other automobile firms are a source of major pollution caused in the world today. Toyota has been enhancing awareness about the deadly impact of increasing pollution through its promotional campaigns since a long time. Toyota campaigns consistently focus that ‘the best way to have an impact on the environment is to have as little impact as possible’ (YouTube, 2018).
As a company policy they try to reduce the pollution caused by a vehicle during the manufacturing process and also when the vehicle is on road. Zero emission vehicles have made it possible for commuters to travel from one place to another without adding on to the pollution of the globe.
Besides zero emission vehicles, Toyota has always worked hard towards building, promoting and selling electric vehicles. All the electric vehicles sold by the company combined have had a massive impact on the environment. These electric vehicles can be charged and do not require fuel to run. This majorly saves up on our natural resources. Toyota has planned to introduce 10 new electric vehicle models by the end of 2020. Toyota has also been reported to stay ahead of its 2020 target by selling 1.52 million electrified vehicles in 2017 (Toyota, 2018). Additionally, cumulative sales of electric vehicles by the brand have exceeded 11.47million. This signifies a reduction of over 90 million tons of CO2 compared to conventional vehicles. The brand has targeted to achieve total sales of 5.5 million vehicles a year by the end of 2030 (The times, 2017). From 2025 onwards, the automobile giant will launch an electric version of all their vehicle models across their entire product line up. Electric vehicles have brought about a drastic change within the society and are not being actively used by environmentally responsible commuters.
Toyota has always worked towards enhancing awareness about the gigantic problem of pollution faced by the world today. Through their advertisements and promotion materials, the organization has been doing its bit in generating awareness and an urgency regarding the matter. Last year, Toyota went a step ahead and installed smog reducing billboards across California. These billboards have created a pollution scrubbing surface that would work towards reversing the equivalent of 440 vehicles worth of nitrogen dioxide emissions per month. NOx is a key ingredient in smog and acid rain (Toyota, 2017). These billboards purify the air around them with the help of titanium dioxide coated vinyl. Toyota consistently aims at introducing new environmental technologies across all the operations of the brand. These smog reducing billboards are a classic example of the same. Through these billboards Toyota has demonstrated a perfect example of tremendous research and state of the art innovation.
As a brand, environmental responsibility of Toyota is evident in the company’s actions. Environment supporting campaigns of the brand are long term in nature and have had a massive impact on the overall reduced pollution of the globe. However, there are a few unintended consequences of these campaigns. Unintended consequences can be either positive or negative.
The first unintended consequence of the anti-pollution campaign of brand is that electric vehicles continue to be relatively expensive than conventional vehicles owing to the advanced technology with which they operate. Similarly, smog reducing billboards are an expensive affair for the brand and hence the number of these billboards is currently limited to just 36 billboards. Lastly, researchers are now questioning if the positive impact of the electric vehicles fairly compensates for the negative consequences like excessive use of electricity and reduced horsepower of the vehicle.
Toyota’s campaign against pollution is a strong battle that the brand is determined to continue fighting through the business’s lifecycle. The brand is attempting to curb global levels of pollution and has been successful in achieving the same (Rowland, 2015).
There are various wicked problems that have been inflicting different parts of our society. These problems have been termed as wicked problems because there is no way of ending these problems. The impact of these problems can be reduced drastically. These problems include pollution, poverty, corruption, illiteracy or even unemployment (Woodford et. al., 2016).
This report has highlighted the wicked problem of pollution. The world pollution levels have reached mammoth levels and are directly impacting each and every person on the face of this earth. However, in the middle of the rising pollution of the world, there are few people, organizations and governments who have been putting efforts in reducing the levels of pollution across the globe.
Two important examples have been specified in the report. The first one is the ‘Clean air campaign’ launched in New Delhi, India. This is a smaller campaign between the two and had been launched to reduce the pollution levels in a particular geographical area. The campaign was a huge success and has even inspired some national level campaigns. The impact of the campaign is sure to have a lasting benefit in the city.
The second example has been given of an environmentally responsible brand ‘Toyota’. The organization has always put tremendous efforts in the direction of reducing pollution from around the globe. Toyota has introduced electric vehicles on a large scale and introduced smog reducing billboards. The efforts of the brand are sure to create an impact which will be beneficial for generations to come.
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