Environmental Challenges

Environmental Challenges

Environmental Challenges Jonathan Poland

Environmental issues are detrimental changes to the Earth’s natural surroundings that negatively impact the current quality of life for individuals and potentially jeopardize the long-term sustainability of communities, societies, and even life itself. The following are common examples of environmental problems.

  • Acid Rain
  • Agricultural Runoff
  • Air Pollution
  • Bioaccumulation of Pollution
  • Biodiversity Loss
  • Chemical Spills
  • Construction Emissions
  • Coral Bleaching
  • Cruise Ship Emissions
  • Deforestation
  • Desertification
  • Electromagnetic Pollution
  • Endocrine Disruptors
  • Environmental Impact of War
  • Extinction
  • Food Quality
  • Global Dimming
  • Global Warming
  • Habitat Destruction
  • Habitat Fragmentation
  • Herbicide Pollution
  • Illegal Dumping
  • Incinerator Pollution
  • Indoor Air Quality
  • Invasive Species
  • Land Degradation
  • Marine Debris
  • Medical Waste
  • Microplastic Pollution
  • Mining Runoff
  • Nanomaterial Pollution
  • Noise Pollution
  • Ocean Acidification
  • Oil Spills
  • Ozone Depletion Persistent
  • Organic Pollutants
  • Pesticide Pollution
  • Radioactive Waste
  • Resource Overexploitation
  • Shipping Emissions
  • Soil Pollution
  • Space Junk
  • Toxic Waste
  • Unsustainable Fishing Practices
  • Urban Heat Island
  • Vehicle Emissions
  • Volatile Organic Compounds
  • Water Pollution

Cause & Effect

Environmental problems are defined according to their impact on the environment or people. For example, consumerism is arguably a root cause of pollution but isn’t an environmental problem itself.

Problems & Risks

Beyond current problems, there are environmental risks that represent possible future problems. For example, the risk of nuclear war.


Solutions to environmental problems generally require systems thinking whereby you consider possible unintended consequences. For example, solutions that directly address the root cause of a problem such as producing vehicles with zero or low emissions that are required to be efficiently recycled or reused at the end of their life.

People, Planet & Profits

People, planet & profits is the principle that solutions to environmental problems not make things worse for people or the economy. This defeats the false dichotomies of environment vs people or environment vs economy. This can also be viewed as pragmatic realism that recognizes that environmental action that is hostile to people and their goals it is unlikely to succeed. For example, green infrastructure projects that provide jobs and solve environmental problems at the same time.

Learn More…

Risk Response Jonathan Poland

Risk Response

Risk response is the process of addressing identified risks in order to…

Experience Economy Jonathan Poland

Experience Economy

The concept of the experience economy suggests that companies can differentiate themselves…

Settlement Risk Jonathan Poland

Settlement Risk

Settlement risk is the risk that a trading counterparty will not deliver…

What are Power Structures? Jonathan Poland

What are Power Structures?

Power structures are the systems or frameworks that are used to exert…

Channel Pricing Jonathan Poland

Channel Pricing

Channel pricing refers to the practice of setting different prices for a…

Progress Trap Jonathan Poland

Progress Trap

A progress trap is a situation where a new technology, which has the potential to improve life, ends up causing harm due to a lack of risk management.

Decision Framing Jonathan Poland

Decision Framing

Decision framing refers to the way in which a choice or dilemma…

Product Development Jonathan Poland

Product Development

Product development is the process of designing, creating, and launching new products.…

Perfect Competition Jonathan Poland

Perfect Competition

Perfect competition is a theoretical market structure in which a large number…

Jonathan Poland © 2023

Search the Database

Over 1,000 posts on topics ranging from strategy to operations, innovation to finance, technology to risk and much more…

Operating Costs Jonathan Poland

Operating Costs

Operating costs are the expenses that a company incurs in order to…

First-mover Advantage Jonathan Poland

First-mover Advantage

First-mover advantage refers to the competitive advantage that a company can gain…

Project Goals Jonathan Poland

Project Goals

Project goals refer to the desired business outcomes that a project aims…

Trade Secret Jonathan Poland

Trade Secret

A trade secret is a type of carefully guarded information that gives…

Project Proposal Jonathan Poland

Project Proposal

A project proposal is a document that outlines a proposed project and…

Data Quality Jonathan Poland

Data Quality

Data quality refers to the accuracy, completeness, and reliability of information used…

Commercialization Jonathan Poland


Commercialization is the process of introducing a new product or service into…

Customer Experience 101 Jonathan Poland

Customer Experience 101

Customer experience (CX) refers to the overall experience that a customer has…

Data Analysis Jonathan Poland

Data Analysis

Data analysis is the process of collecting, organizing, and examining data in…