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Businesses who
participate in environmentally friendly practices will
become more profitable. There are difficulties and costs that a business will
face and profit takes time but is proven to positively impact a business. “The
reluctance to address the forces that are polluting the planet always comes
down to money (Smith, “6 Reasons Nations Don’t Go Green.”). Implementing
environmentally friendly practices within a company “will win them customers,
and increase profits” (McDonald, “Why Do (or Don’t) Companies Go Green?”).

Many global companies today carry out environmental management tools to adapt
to environmentally friendly practices, which helps gain customers, and in turn
becomes more profitable. In this paper, I will go into further detail
explaining why businesses should be more environmentally friendly, the benefits
to be gained, costs that come with being environmentally friendly, and
management ways that help a company become environmentally friendly.

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Introduction

 

Going “Green” is a
trendy topic and is growing around the world. There are many proven facts
showing that reducing emissions, waste, and gas help the environment, but the
question remains to companies if they should take action to help the
environment within their company. Will this help organizations with their
overall success or will the cost of implementing environmentally friendly
policies outweigh the organizations profits?

“There is
overwhelming scientific consensus that human activity—primarily the burning of
fossil fuels and deforestation caused by agriculture and urbanization—is
responsible for a sharp and continuing rise in the concentration of carbon
dioxide (CO2) and other heat-trapping gases in the earth’s
atmosphere” (Keohane; Ch. 1). These gases and other factors are what is leading
global surface temperatures to rise, this is also known as global warming.

Impacts of global warming include rising sea levels, precipitation changes,
increased occurrences of extreme whether events such as droughts, floods, and
major storms. Also, global warming impacts many species within certain
ecosystems due to migration or extinction (Keohane; Ch. 1).

Since businesses
produce goods or services on a mass production, they have the most potential to
emit the most amount of harm to the environment. These environmental issues
have expanded from local and regional, and grown to global issues. “It is a
well- known fact that the global environment carrying
capacity reached it limit. Raw material acquisition, manufacturing, use and
disposal–are the main reasons this global environmental carrying capacity is
being exceeded” (AlKhidir 246).

Purpose

 

The purpose for
this paper is for you to further understand the responsibilities that companies
need to have by reducing their carbon footprint. My personal beliefs will be
reflected in this paper due to my strong beliefs about saving the environment.

My paper will discuss these main topics in more detail: responsible
environmental basics and saving money through environmental management.

 

Responsible Environmental Basics

 

The world has
become more environmentally conscious and businesses have taken the lead to
promote green practices while encouraging their customers to do the same. Today
it has become ethical and moral to protect the environment, and business owners
have this same responsibility to protect the environment. All businesses have a
legal obligation to follow federal, state, and local environmental laws, and laws
are changeable between states due to different ecosystems (Thompson, “Role of
Business in Environmental Protection”).

Benefits

 

The main reasons
for businesses to go green according to Kristie Lorette, a marketing expert who
specializes in business and marketing topics, are for legal and tax advantages,
reduced waste, improved workplace, public response, and sustainability. Certain
states in the United States benefit companies who actively put forth an effort
to reducing their carbon footprint. Florida and California are examples of states
whose government gives tax breaks to benefit the company. “Florida, for
example, allows companies that produce and sell electricity from a renewable
energy facility to take a corporate income tax credit. Florida businesses are
also eligible for a sales tax exemption for using solar energy systems,
equipment, machinery and other renewable energy technologies. The Solar Energy
System Incentives Program allows Florida companies to take rebates, and the
Renewable Energy and Energy-Efficient Technologies Grants Program provides
grants for Florida companies using solar and renewable energy sources to run
the business” (Lorette, “Why Businesses Should Go Green”).

 

Within companies,
reducing waste cuts operating costs such as turning off lights can reduce
electric bill and save energy. Less printing lowers spending on materials and
cuts down paper usage. Also, offering hybrid vehicles as company cars for
employees helps save on fuel prices. Within the workplaces, when green supplies
are used, employees benefit from less exposure to harmful products that cause
physical problems. Green supplies help people who suffer from respiratory and
other health conditions because they contain fewer chemicals such as sodium
hypochlorite and nitrobenzene (Lorette, “Why Businesses Should Go Green”).

There is a direct
relationship between companies going green and the public’s response. With the
popularity of going green, companies are seeing an overall increasing in
profits and in the sales of green products. “Companies such as Wal-Mart and
Target have incorporated green changes such as composting and recycling,
changing transportation routes to save gas, reducing packaging, and stocking
their shelves with greener products. As a result, these companies have seen
customers respond positively to the changes, with green product sales alone
jumping somewhere around 20 percent as of 2010 (Lorette, “Why Businesses Should
Go Green”).

Costs

 

Businesses
adapting to environmentally friendly practices is a smart business practice but
there are challenges. The main disadvantages businesses will face are
conversion expenses, costlier products, lack of support, going paperless, and
customer backlash. For a company to fully adapt to sustainable practices takes
time and can initially be very costly. Environmentally friendly materials can
be costly, which in turn will cost more for the customer. With support of
sustainability within business, there is lack of support as well. Some people
do not fully support the theory of global warming and have bias against
companies who go green. Customers also can be taken advantage of when businesses
promote the sale of environmentally friendly products but are falsely advertising,
this is called “greenwashing.” If companies are accused of greenwashing,
credibility is lost (Joseph, Chris, “The Disadvantages of Going Green for a
Corporation”).

 

Environmental Management

 

There
are many studies that show environmental management practices have a positive
relationship with operations performance. Environmental management is
considered a strategy in most business and that strategy influence is
increasing. “Performance in
accordance with compliance or regulation, standards, pollution prevention and
environmental improvement, and goodwill are most frequently emphasised causes
for environmental activities in enterprises” (?an?er
24).

Ways
to Save

 

Environmental
management should have a focus in production, purchasing, research and
development, and marketing. Management is mainly motivated by compliance and
regulation. Having compliance and regulations on management tools are ways to
save money within the business and adapt with environmentally friendly
practices. Management tools such as controlling and monitoring emissions into
the environment, selection and rational use of raw materials, minimization,
recycling, transport and disposing of waste, selection and rational use of energy
sources. Managing these areas within a business are the most used tools, they
decrease costs and increase eco-efficiency (?an?er 23-25).

Environmentally
Friendly Companies

 

Some
global companies that are environmentally friendly include: IKEA, Panasonic,
and Patagonia. IKEA begins with their supply chain. They source 50 per cent of
their wood from sustainable foresters and 100 per cent of their cotton from
clean farms. This in turn reduces usage of water and energy, and reduces
chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Panasonic has high energy saving goals and
went as far as moving their North American headquarters to a LED-certified
building near Penn Station. This move removed for employees to have to drive to
work. Patagonia, a clothing company, encouraged people through advertisements
not to buy things that are not a necessity, even their own products. They
promoted repairing things rather than just replacing them.

 

Conclusion

 

            Understanding
the benefits from environmentally friendly practices within a business and
using them in daily operations is profitable. Global companies actively use
environmentally friendly practices not only to help the environment but to help
employees, customers, and their own company. This trend is growing
exponentially and will continue to grow, the next question is when will we need
to stop making a conscious effort into protecting and preserving the natural
environment or will we ever be able to stop. 

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