Our planet is plagued by environmental issues that are depleting our natural resources and putting an enormous strain on our livelihoods. If left unchecked, many of these issues will impact businesses directly and indirectly. In many instances, they are already doing so. Some of the primary environmental issues that are affecting businesses today include pollution, waste disposal, water quality, and water supply issues, and climate change.
Pollution is one of the world’s biggest environmental issues. The business impact due to pollution stretches far and wide, with just one example pointing to how pollution affects the health of people which then impacts medical costs and loss of productivity. Heavily polluted areas, for example, have a difficult time hiring and retaining workers. Waste disposal is another issue, with improper disposal resulting in foul smells, leaching into water supplies, and air pollution.
Climate Change Will Affect Everyone
Climate change is a global issue with serious implications including environmental, social, economic, and political. Factors like coastal flooding can have a major impact on businesses, leading to operational disruption and losses for organizations. Climate change can also create a higher demand for energy as the temperatures get warmer and there is a higher demand for air conditioning use. This means higher costs overall to businesses. Higher demand for energy also translates into increased use of natural resources like water and fossil fuels, which can then turn into a lack of resources for companies to turn into products.
Climate change also has negative impacts on the agricultural sector, which directly impacts the population in regards to food availability and safety. The impact of environmental issues on water supplies can result in harm to agriculture, a decrease in productivity, and higher costs.
Environmental issues that we face today make it clear that solving as many of these complex issues as we can best serve all sectors. It will also require the cooperation of all sectors. Environmental issues affect every individual, community, organization, and country. We must all become environmental stewards to keep the economy moving, surviving, and thriving.
The environmental factors that are affecting business and will continue to affect production and the economy. Such issues as major storms, loss of resources, inflation, and scarcity of food and water – are creating serious detriments. However, solving these complex issues requires the cooperation of individual sectors. It is apparent that the environmental crisis we are facing calls on all business leaders to consider the environmental impact that their companies have and also calls on business leaders to take action to ensure that they meet all compliance needs and regulations.
Though the situation is difficult, environmental issues also present an opportunity for businesses to step up and show their employees and markets where they stand and what they are willing to do to mitigate the risks. Employees, for example, perform better when they are healthy. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulates work environments and most businesses do not have an issue with meeting OSHA standards. Businesses, however, should remain aware of current events and how they may affect their employees. An example is if the employees of a company are working outside and there are extremely high temperatures. The break times required by OSHA may not be sufficient enough for the health, safety, and wellbeing of employees.
Environmental Action is Marketable
The cultural demands of consumers are another area that presents an opportunity concerning businesses and environmental issues. Consumers are increasingly opting to align themselves with companies that have a strong positive environmental mission. Business leaders taking action to mitigate risks involved with environmental issues and promoting sustainable practices will benefit the company. Marketing campaigns are being used as a platform to inform the public of the efforts companies are making to address environmental issues. They are also being used to inform the public of efforts that are planned for the future.
In Closing: Environmental Action is Good for All, Especially Businesses
Once upon a time, the sole objective of business owners was to build a company that would generate revenues and continuously increases profits. As environmental issues, their impact on business and the world, and the risks to the future of all life have become more prevalent across the globe. The effects are being seen and the need for immediate action is now. It is the responsibility of business owners to take a full inventory of their choices and examine how those choices affect the environment. It is time to make modifications where necessary. Some effects are more subtle than others, but all modifications contribute to the greater good of our planet.