Twenty years ago, environmental issues were rarely a priority on the agenda of business management. Now, there is an argument that operating an environmentally-friendly business is a top priority for business, particularly those whose operations and activities are nationwide and international. The environment has become a key external influence on businesses.
The key environmental issues which potentially constrain the ability of a business to achieve its objectives include:
|Key Environmental Concerns|
A "green" supply chain
Promoting environmental policies
Complying with environmental laws
Business activities are regulated by three main agencies in the UK:
And also by Local authorities who regulate
Environmental laws and regulations are wide and varied, but essentially businesses have to make sure that they:
To meet their obligations, businesses need to focus on:
Whilst complying with these regulations and laws inevitably imposes additional costs on many businesses, it is possible to identify some advantages that arise for the environmentally-conscious business. These include:
You will see the word "sustainable" or "sustainability" used in many businesses these days.
A sustainable business is a business that has no negative overall impact on the environment.
That definition makes it quite hard to quantify whether the goal of sustainability has been met, since it assumes the net effect of a business activities on the environment can be measured in full. In practice, a business that aims to be sustainable gets involved in a range of activities designed to "minimise" their net effect on the environment. These are activities such as:
To be effective, a strategy of building a sustainable business requires the drive and support of people through a firm – particularly top management. Management need to:
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