Have you considered the role environmental responsibility should play in your business?
It’s not enough to slap an eco-friendly label on your products and call it a day. Government regulations and consumer expectations alike have made it tougher for companies to maintain an environmentally positive image.
However, for businesses that succeed at corporate environmental responsibility, the rewards are far greater than the cost. Not only do they stay out of trouble with regulators but the public rewards them with their purchases and loyalty.
Given the importance of environmental responsibility, it’s clearly not something you can afford to ignore. But what exactly are your responsibilities when it comes to business ethics and environment? What does your business need to focus on to maintain a positive public image and environmental impact?
This short guide to environmental responsibility will try to answer these questions. For everything you need to know about making your business environmentally responsible, keep reading.
Follow Local Regulations
The first and most obvious step is to observe all local regulations. Every country and area has its own rules regarding sustainability and waste management. It’s important to know what the regulations are in your area and follow them.
Depending on where your business operates, there should be regulations around such things as:
- Emissions into the air
- Statutory nuisance
- Waste storage and disposal
- Recycling requirements
- Waste chemicals entering sewage systems
- Storage and use of hazardous materials
Of course, it’s important to go above and beyond in your environmental responsibility. Nearly every successful business follows the basic guidelines laid out by governments. But the ones that stand out are those that exceed these basic requirements.
Be a Good Neighbor
An important part of environmental responsibility is how you handle the area around your business. You probably have other businesses or homes just outside your facility. Even if you don’t, there are bound to be passers-by that commute near your business.
If your facility is producing excessive noise, unpleasant smells, light pollution, dust, or smoke, you could have a problem. Things like this can make the area around your business unsafe or unpleasant for other people. Even if you aren’t violating any environmental regulations, this could still count as a statutory nuisance.
The physical appearance of your facility could also be a factor here. For example, your buildings could be noticeably run-down, or you could have excess waste piled high in dumpsters. If this is the case, you aren’t adding to the local area’s value or being a very good neighbor.
Part of being a greener company is maintaining a clean image, especially in your business’s location. Make sure your facilities contribute positively to the surrounding areas.
Use Sustainably-Sourced Materials
No matter what your business produces, it’s important to use sustainable materials. This applies whether you’re manufacturing sustainable products or using eco-friendly printing services to create your promotional materials. At every level of your business, you should be working with sustainability in mind.
Unfortunately, sustainable, eco-friendly manufacturing can be expensive. It’s especially challenging for established businesses to shift to more sustainable methods. But on the bright side, going out of your way to work responsibly will be sure to impress new customers.
Even today, it’s generally considered acceptable to produce products that will likely end up in landfills eventually. The important thing is to make sure the materials used are biodegradable and nontoxic. That way, any negative environmental impact they’ll have will be minimal.
This isn’t to say you have to completely revolutionize your business all at once. When it comes to sustainability, even a single step in the right direction can be significant. The best place to start is to learn as much as you can about the origin and makeup of the materials you use for manufacturing.
If you run a service-based business, it should be easier to be environmentally responsible. You can start by creating a greener workplace for your employees. You can do this by providing recycling, using reusable tableware, and encouraging healthier habits.
Focus on Incremental Progress
Unfortunately, most businesses can’t be made totally sustainable with just a few simple changes. Becoming environmentally responsible is a process. Even with complete focus, it could take years to transition fully to sustainable processes.
The good news is, most customers don’t expect or demand perfection. You just need to show signs of progress. If you’re going in the right direction, you can still satisfy consumers. And with time, if enough of us work together, we can save the planet.
Don’t use this idea as an excuse to do little or nothing, however. Consumers are perceptive and hate fakers. Pretending to be more responsible than you are will backfire.
Be honest about the progress you need to make. Then take real, concrete, consistent action towards a sustainable future.
Begin Prioritizing Environmental Responsibility in Your Business Today
Hopefully, you now see the benefits of making environmental responsibility a priority. Brands that are environmentally friendly and socially responsible often go on to be loved by customers. As a result, their increased sales can more than make up for their investment in being more environmentally responsible.
The importance of environmental ethics in business is just one thing you need to be aware of as an entrepreneur. To stay up to date on all things business and lifestyle, keep reading our content here on HammBurg.