In social responsibility and corporate sustainability, the environmental aspect is applicable to any type of organization and not only those whose activity has a clear relationship with the use of natural resources.
Some industries, such as energy, have an obvious environmental impact, but in fact, every organization has environmental impacts.
These impacts can be negative when their activity produces adverse effects on the environment (such as generation of waste), but also positive impacts (such as the process of reforestation of a forest after a fire). Responsible companies are those that integrate environmental management in the management of the company with the aim of eliminating or at least minimizing and mitigating its negative impacts on the environment and enhancing the positive ones.
Integrating environmental management into the company can improve its competitiveness. You can collect some environmental equipment from www.envieq.com known as Envieq Store.
Advantages of environmental management:
-Reduce costs for the company and the end user, by improving the eco-efficiency of the organization, or what is the same, reducing the number of resources needed to produce the same product or service;
-Generate new sources of income, for example, identifying waste that can be used by other companies as raw materials and therefore, in addition to eliminating the expenses of their management, obtains income from the sale of them,
-Participate in the value chain of other organizations (such as suppliers and customers), including public administrations, which have begun to include environmental clauses in their procurement and contracting processes;
-Develop innovative products and processes of higher quality through incorporating the environmental variable in the design process, which will differentiate them from those of the competition, enable access to new markets, etc.
-Improve your reputation, which can allow you to get more customers and reduce the risk of losing ones you have because of a bad image of the company.
A responsible organization focuses its activity in such a way that it enhances its positive environmental impacts and eliminates or mitigates negative ones, which will improve its competitiveness and sustainability. The issues that a company should consider regarding environmental aspects and the actions it can take in this regard can be summarized as follows:
–Efficiency in resource consumption: Inefficient resource consumption leads to unnecessary expense for a company. A more efficient use of resources will itself result in cost savings. From a supportive perspective, a responsible company must strive to eliminate or minimize its consumption of resources, especially those that are currently limited or from which a growing shortage is expected in the future. In addition, this will also result in a future economic benefit to the company, because as the shortage of a particular resource increase, so will its price. To the extent that a company can reduce its dependence on a particular resource will also be enhancing its own sustainability.
–Climate change and greenhouse emissions: Climate change and greenhouse emissions affect us all. Responsible companies implement actions beyond their legal obligations to adapt to climate change and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
–Generation and management of waste: The generation of waste is the other side of the resource consumption currency. Obviously the less it is consumed, the less waste with harmful effects will be generated and the less it will be necessary to eliminate. The responsible company will try to minimize the generation of waste as a result of its activity and will manage those that occur in the least harmful and environmentally friendly way.
–Biodiversity and natural spaces: Conserving the existing biodiversity on the planet is not only important from the ecological point of view, but also from the economic point of view, as a source of raw materials. Therefore, the use of natural resources should be done in a sustainable way, that is, in a way that allows our development without compromising the development of future generations. The impact on diversity will be determined by the type of activity carried out (eg. an extractive industry will have a greater risk of having an impact on biodiversity than a service company) and how this activity is carried out (eg. intensive farming has a greater negative impact on the environment than organic farming).
–Eco-design and life cycle analysis: Eco-design is that design that considers environmental impacts at all stages of the design and product development process (and services) to achieve products (and services) that generate the least impact Possible throughout their life cycle. The significance of this concept is that many of the impacts of a product are not generated in its manufacturing phase, but in other stages of its life cycle (for example, 90% of the impacts of a car are generated in its Phase of use). Therefore, a life cycle analysis will allow us to detect in which phase of the product life cycle the main environmental loads are generated and, consequently, which aspects of the evaluated system should focus environmental improvement efforts.
–Awareness and environmental education: Training and environmental awareness are key elements for a company to continuously improve its environmental performance. It is a transversal theme, that is to say, that will affect to a greater or less degree all the people who are part of the company, and for that reason it is advisable to elaborate a training plan from the detection of the training needs of all the personnel, Which should also be related to those aspects that the company has identified as meaningful and which it intends to improve.