Seeing Green

BY ROBERT J. CATES

The Dollars and Cents of Green Construction ” ( JofA , May05, page 47) did an excellent job of introducing ecological principles in a manner that draws businesses and environmentalists together for discussion, rather than repelling or deterring them.

Many environmentalists have been justifiably labeled doomsayers who focus too much on excess and blame. Many probusiness lobbies, on the other hand, oversimplify issues to play on the fears of the public. Neither of these groups is seriously participating in the pragmatic discussions needed to solve the problems facing the economy and the environment.

CPAs should be leading the business community when discussing the problems of the economy, including the environmental impact of conducting business. Businesses can contribute to the general well-being of society not only by creating jobs and wealth, but also developing creative solutions that protect the environment. The article clearly demonstrated that businesses can be profitable and environmentally friendly. A few short-term sacrifices pale in comparison to the many long-term benefits of constructing a “green” building. The dollars saved are considerable, but the social and environmental savings are priceless. Cooperation, instead of strife, between businesses and environmentalists will lead us toward a new economy—an economy that can continue to grow without harming the ecosystem.

Thank you for publishing articles that examine the important issues facing the profession, business and society.

Robert J. Cates, CPA
Greensboro, N.C.

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