Business and the environment go hand-in-hand. Business has a responsibility to the environment – to ensure that their practices are not wasteful or harmful to the environment. In addition, there are growing opportunities for businesses to work within an environmental paradigm, in ways that can be more efficient, profitable, and better for consumers and the community.
Responsibility to be Sustainable
Businesses need to recognise the role the play in creating environmental problems. Many businesses are directly responsible for green house gas emissions. Banks and investment institutions invest in mining and shipping. Factories and mines can be responsible for producing and dumping environmental waste. In Dhaka, our waterways are suffering from the waste produced by the leather industry, and brick kilns pollute the air. In recognising these impacts, businesses have a responsibility to ensure that their business operates in a way that is sustainable. This could include using renewable energy, creating flexible travel options for staff to cut down on car usage, recycling, dealing with waste responsibly and sourcing green materials.
Opportunities within the Environmental Paradigm
As businesses move towards sustainable options, there are opportunities for businesses to expand and grow. Businesses can enjoy cheaper costs and greater efficiency, and improved status among consumers.
Governments & Civil Society
Government’s worldwide are encouraging and regulating businesses to become more green and sustainable. Many governments are offering businesses grants to take-up sustainable technology. Carbon-trading schemes are being established to reward companies that reduce their carbon emissions. Civil society is also active in this space.
At BYEI, we see good opportunities for collaboration between business, researchers, government and civil society. Much of the research being conducted by our research arm is investigating ways to make clean energy viable.
Consumers can encourage businesses to pursue green and sustainable options, by buying products from businesses with good ‘green’ credentials. Do your own research when buying a new product or opening a bank account. Does this company recycle? Do they follow waste management regulations? Do they product products sustainably – both environmentally, and socially? Do they invest in clean energy?
Consumers can be powerful is shifting companies towards green options, and are an important part of a green supply chain. If businesses know that consumers will pay for sustainable alternatives, they will start to update their practices, policies and approaches.