I sometimes wonder whether the environment is getting a bad name here in the U.K. From recent attacks against wind energy subsides from around 100 MPs to 7 influential airlines attacking carbon taxes. I don’t think some businesses are aware of the clear benefits that can occur from improved standards of environmental management.
From my experience of undertaking resource efficiency work over the past few years there are many good financial reasons for organisations to improve their environmental performance. It is not just me who is saying this take a look at a few case studies from around cyberspace.
We can clearly see then that there is much to be gained from reducing an organisations environmental impact. But some at the top level still see good environmental management as being a burden that is holding their business back rather than something they can truly exploit. The reasons for this – who knows but I will take a stab at it:
- Possible lack of knowledge at the top levels of companies (board of director level) of the positives of environmental management.
- Environmental management being seen about complying with laws rather than benefits such as reducing costs.
- Companies see an environmental tax, permit maintenance fee, energy bill etc as something that is set in stone and cannot be reduced, when in fact it can be relatively easily.
- The environment is seen as an issue that is on the sidelines that is not part of the core decision making process of an organisation.
Anyway, I think that as environmental professionals we should consider communicating the true business benefits to Directors in addition to compliance aspects and this will help those in senior position take environmental management more seriously.
To end on a positive note take a look at the story of the letter sent by influential UK businesses to the government calling for a Greener Budget and this story about the Confederation of British Industry. It is seems some major business and business groups are aware of the business benefits of being green!
Update: Take a look at this letter to the Guardian newspaper from Richard Branson and others to the Prime Minister regarding renewable energy. It is a riposte to the letter from MPs that I linked to at the start of this post.
What do you think? does your organisation take environmental issues seriously?
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