Adhering to the minimum legal requirements always places a company on the edge. Sometimes, environmental requirements can become a matter of definition and perception. Doing more than the Government asks them to do makes good business sense when it is the environment at stake. Once companies go beyond the demands of current requirements, they will be ready to meet the requirements of increasingly stringent new laws.
Damage to reputation is one of the worst events a company can face. Each such damage can take products off the shelves or strike them off the preferred supplier lists. By taking care of the environment, companies can turn more competitive and protect themselves from such unexpected events.
Environmental Audit: An understanding of how their business affects the local flora, fauna, habitat and the local community and their active involvement in preserving and enhancing them holds the key to long-term success. Efficient use of resources, including water and energy, minimizing pollution and waste, in addition to efficient waste disposal have a positive impact on the environment and on the business.
Each of these factors lowers costs, companies will attract and retain the increasingly aware and environmentally demanding customers. It also impacts the energy use and wastage from their products by customers, hazards or safety issues to employees and the environmental protection measures that suppliers undertake. Companies will gain the loyalty of employees, customers, suppliers and a positive public perception since they begin to view the company as a responsible entity, all of which strengthens the bottom line.
Environmental Audit of Suppliers: Companies are no longer shielded from the efficiency and environmental practices of their suppliers – they are the company’s problem. It makes strong business sense to have suppliers evaluated for their environmental impact and work with them to minimize the impact. They could have environmental impact studies done for their suppliers to ensure minimum wastage, effective waste disposal, minimal carbon emissions and so on.
In turn, supplier companies will find that reputed companies favour them as an environmentally responsible entity which becomes particularly relevant to them from their own customer point of view and public perception. In fact, many B2B and B2C customers insist on it.
Business Benefits: The business benefits of such an environment-linked approach to business are clear and direct:
- Minimises potential for disrepute.
- The status of preferred supplier is protected. Customers tend to remain loyal to companies that take such responsible actions.
- Companies will build a reputation that employees – present and future – value. When employees take pride in what their employer does and how they do it, they stay longer and are more productive.
- When companies meet regularity compliances, unpleasant surprises in the form of adverse reports and damage to reputation can be eliminated.
- Investors too look upon such companies favourably.
- Acting in the interests of the local flora, fauna and habitat which can also include involving the local community generates local good will and positive media reports. This in turn can bring about positive and strong relationships with local authorities. This allows smoother business functioning.