Business and environmental strategy
Environmental management in business has certainly undergone a significant evolution from a largely negative perception, where it was seen as a cost and a risk, to a more positive outlook, where it is recognised as an opportunity to bring savings and competitive advantage. Here are some key aspects of this development:
From Costs to Opportunities
In the past, environmental management was often perceived as an additional cost to business due to the implementation of cleaner technologies or compliance with environmental regulations. Over time, it has been realised that the right approach to environmental issues can lead to significant savings by reducing resource, energy or material consumption, resulting in reduced costs. It can also create opportunities to gain competitive advantages through more sustainable products or services and by attracting environmentally conscious customers.
From Internal Management to Supply Chain Management
Initially, the focus was on managing the direct environmental impacts of a company’s own operations. However, today, environmental strategies are also extending to managing environmental impacts in supply chains. Companies are increasingly aware that environmental impacts are not limited to their own operations, but can extend to the entire life cycle of the products or services they provide.
From Compliance to Leadership
In the past, many environmental actions were mainly motivated by compliance with government regulations. Today, many companies are taking proactive approaches and becoming leaders in sustainability. These companies develop environmental initiatives and strategies on their own initiative, to improve their performance and respond to customer or stakeholder concerns about the environment.
From Negative Perception to Added Value
As technology advances and knowledge about sustainability grows, companies are beginning to understand that environmental management can add value. Concepts such as green design and green marketing have become an integral part of environmental strategies. This allows companies to develop more resource-efficient products and services and to attract environmentally conscious customers.
Efficient Monitoring and Measurement
Environmental management cannot be effective without proper monitoring and measurement. Companies use key performance indicators (KPIs) to track their environmental impact and progress towards environmental goals. This process of data collection and analysis helps companies continuously improve their environmental practices.
A key aspect of environmental management is resource efficiency. It involves the efficient use of raw materials, energy and other resources to reduce waste. With increased resource efficiency, businesses can save money and reduce their environmental impact.
In conclusion, environmental management in business is now more than just an obligation or regulatory compliance. It has become an essential strategy for the long-term success of companies, bringing financial benefits, competitive advantages and helping to protect the environment.
If you would like to learn more about this topic, we invite you to take the online course “Our Future: Sustainable Development – Responsible and conscious choices in everyday life”. The #21VNDS course is free and can be accessed by anyone interested in topics such as the basics of sustainability, individual-level change, sustainability in business and sustainable cities.
The project “Our Future: Sustainable Development” is funded through the Start NGO program, launched by Kaufland Romania and implemented by the Act for Tomorrow Association.
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