I found out a long time ago that simple capitalism on an individual level as in “VOTING WITH YOUR DOLLARS” when you go to purchase an item, has a far greater and more immediate impact than all the demonstrations in the world. In most cases companies have also found out it makes economic sense to do things in a safe and ecologically sound manner if they look at it in a longer term viewpoint. It makes perfect economic sense to do it right the first time and keep up your maintenance, unfortunately that was never mentioned in engineering or business school I went to!
The two worst things working against longer term thinking are Wall Street and the Multiple layers of government all of who want immediate profits; one to satisfy investors, the other to tax the living hell out of you. And if you have not intestinal fortitude to spend your money on the longterm: maintenance, R&D, environmental updates…., you will start chasing profits and short change all the things that will make your company grow in the future, especially if your current profits are a bit on the weak side.
The worst offender of all in this equation are governments [and I include school systems and colleges in this] themselves who milk their infrastructure to the point of no return and do not repair or maintain it properly by diverting allocated monies elsewhere, there by endangering the public. Look at the dam in Cali that should have been fixed over a decade ago, how many other dams, bridges, and roadways are near failure in the US. Most water and sewer departments are cash cows for the cities and counties they server, because the money they collect is used elsewhere instead of being put away for the maintenance and replacement of the current systems, are used to defray costs in other parts of the city and county budgets, until you face a crisis and then, welcome to Flint, or a massive Sewer and Water Fee increase that was never “FORESEEN”. Or a politician makes a decision affecting public health you find out about five years later.
Again, vote with your dollars.