ABSTRACT

Human activities can be divided into indi vidual and collective acts, and into spontaneous and controlled activities. The concept of 'organization ' refers to a collective of cooperating people of which activities are nol completel y spontaneous but more or less planned and controlled. Organizations can cease to exist. People can start and finish membership of an organization. But it is also possible that an organization survives all its members of a certain moment. Organizations can have widely different goals. From the viewpoint of environm ent al protection two e:<tremes can be di stinguished. The first part of this chapter will be devoted to environmental organizations. These are organizations which consider environmental protection as their main task. [n theory this type could be contrasted with organizations which destroy the environment deliberately. However. hardly any organization will be prepared to declare the destruction of nature and environment as its goaL Sometimes the activities of military organizations can be qualified as environmentally destructive on purpose. (see section 6.4). Far more common is the destruction of the environment as an unintended side effect of organi zational activities. An endless series of examples of this type of environmental effects of organizations could be mentioned. such as air pollution and noise as results of activities of travel agencies and pollution of surface waters and dumping of waste as a consequence of the activities of industrial enterprises. From the wide variety of organizations with environmental side effects we choose industrial enterprises to discuss more extensively in the second part of this chapter. However. our main question will not be why and how these organizations damage nalUre and the environment but. on the contrary. how they try to limit the disturbing effects of their productive activities. A third category of organizations that will be discussed below are so-called utilities. Under that tenn we refer to those organizations which fulfil essential functions like the delivery of energy and the removal of waste. As in the case of industrial enterprises our main question will be whether and how these organizations try to limit environmentally damaging effects of the delivery of their services.