666 words Average 5 minute reading time
Environmental business ethics is about human interaction with nature. From a business perspective, it is concerned with how we can protect the environment in which we operate.
In recent years, public opinion on the damage human activity has on the planet has driven the creation of new government regulations. These will continue to affect the way our organisations operate. The corporate response to these regulations is the primary objective of environmental business ethics.
There is now zero doubt that the choices humanity has made has dramatically affected the well-being of the planet. Our diets, transport and products have all contributed to the crisis. We have destroyed forests, polluted the atmosphere and contaminated the oceans in the name of human progress.
Thanks to the emergence of the internet and our connectivity, consumers have developed a heightened awareness around the impact our lifestyles have on the welfare of the environment. This will continue to impact the way businesses operate across the globe.
Businesses are now starting to accept responsibility. It is clear that businesses, regardless of size, can and must develop environmental business strategies as part of their business models. This is how the business world can play its part in protecting the natural resources they rely on to create profitable organisations.
Sustainability is the buzz word around most environmental efforts. Sustainability refers to the ability of an Eco-system to remain healthy and productive over time – In other words, to secure healthy future growth. What business doesn’t want that?
What can you do?
The simplest strategy is one of energy conservation and waste reduction. By switching to energy-efficient devices and practices, businesses can begin to protect the environment through reduced energy use. In recent years, energy suppliers such as Bulb have been set up to address our excessive energy use with the aim of supplying renewable energy. The US EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) research indicates that businesses can save 10% to 30% on energy costs when using energy-efficient equipment. The UK government also runs a ‘green deal scheme‘ for businesses to participate in to address energy use.
There is of course great opportunities for organisations to develop new technologies that enable people to carry out their day to day business without causing further damage. One such example is Vegware, a company making bio degradable products. There can be little doubt that environmental technologies will provide a path to profitability for small business for the foreseeable future; but we cannot just sit and wait for it to happen.
Creating an environmental ethics strategy offers another, perhaps less obvious advantage in the form of an environmental business culture. The workforce is evolving; over 50% is now made up of Millennial’s with Generation Z representing the emerging future. These young people are all too aware of the environmental impact humanity has inflicted on the planet. After all, they are the demographic who will have to live with the consequences.
In short, businesses who develop strategies, policies and procedures that focus on environmental business ethics will build the most sustainable companies.
Businesses would also do well to go beyond strategy by developing an environmental business ethics mindset. An ideal way of achieving this is through a tailor-made coaching program. This would add a powerful ethical layer that will improve engagement, purpose, productivity and profitability. There can surely be no greater vision.
Leaders can also adopt an Eco-system view of their organisation. This can be done by creatively integrating the natural environment into their strategic thinking.
By connecting nature and business, we can begin to break down the separation the business world has from the natural world.
As I hope we now understand, there is no separation. We are part of the environment. As such, we are duty bound to protect it. There are no passenger on this spaceship.
Doing business doesn’t have to cost the Earth!
If you would like a conversation about your business as an Eco-system or want to develop an environmental business ethics mindset, feel free to drop us a line. For those of you already implementing these or similar strategies – Thank you.
Thanks for reading – Keep it UP!