We are all aware that the ‘E word’ (environment) has become a key global concern over recent years. However, society’s attention to the well-being of the environment ebbs and flows, especially during times of economic downturn such as we are experiencing now, meaning priorities of government and the media change focus on other more tangible matters in the public gaze. For generations that have been raised over the last four decades, during the period when concern about environmental issues such as, pesticide use (DDT), depletion of the ozone layer, species and habitat loss and more recently climate change, has increased and gained a broader base and more attention, are now the key decision/policy-makers and fastidious consumers, whose buying choices reflect their personal ethos.
For most businesses, profit alone is the key motivator in determining how the company functions and operates. Business will have systems and processes in place to enable it to maximise efficiency and understandably to generate a profit. Most large corporations will have shareholders to keep happy and should therefore already have integrated environmental policy into the way they do business. Companies causing pollution and damage to the environment do not want bad press from an incident affecting share price and corporate image. However, for smaller businesses, environmental issues may not feature at all – as yet!
Smaller businesses ignoring ‘green issues’ are missing a trick! Integrating environmental considerations into how you do business can enhance the reputation of your company and costs. Here are 10 good reasons why you should consider preparing an environmental policy and integrating it into how you do business:
1. Reduce energy use to cut your carbon footprint and costs;
2. Reduce and control vehicle fuel use to cut costs, reduce your carbon footprint and to maximise the efficiency of your fleet;
3. Minimise waste and recycle, to cut disposal costs and reduce environmental impact of your waste;
4. Manage use of water to reduce waste and to identify leakage, which can save you money, adding to your bottom line;
5. Keep on the right side of the law and the environmental regulator, by identifying legal compliance issues affecting your business;
6. Reducing the opportunity to cause pollution or commit an environmental offence by mitigating risk;
7. Demonstrate to potential customers that you are considering environmental issues in the way you do business;
8. Position your company to penetrate market for greener products;
9. Include details of your environmental policy in company literature and your website to enhance the reputation of the business;
10. Engage your employees and prospective new recruits, by adding value to your business by simply doing the right thing.
Small business owners can find more information regarding environmental policy at
Paul Lewis is an environmental consultant specializing in strategic development and operational delivery of waste management, recycling, environmental services, sustainability and environmental management systems. Paul is a recognized environmental expert and previously was an advisor and expert on environmental issues to the European Union body TAIEX, providing technical advice on environment. More information about the author can be found at [http://environpro.co.uk]