5 ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS CURRENTLY AFFECTING BUSINESSES IN THE UK
Environmental factors are external influences that impact a business. These environmental factors are something that a company has limited control over. However, all business leaders should consider them when creating strategic plans of action. As environmental factors are out of a business leader’s control, they must have procedures in place to address any issues that may arise in order to protect the day-to-day operations.
Today more businesses understand the importance of “going green”. Business leaders are looking for ways to manage their business operations to benefit both their organisation and the environment. To become environmentally responsible, CEOs will need to analyse every area of their business and come up with practical solutions. Recycling is an environmental factor that falls under this green strategy. Landfills are starting to become overcrowded, harming the environment. Waste in landfills breaks down at a slow rate and, as a result, releases harmful toxins into the air. Now, more than ever, it is important for businesses to recycle and to reduce the amount of waste going to landfills.
There are plenty of ways business leaders can successfully implement recycling within their organisation. Think about the materials your business wastes each day and consider the amount. Will a few recycling bins suffice? Or will you need to contact a local recycling centre on a regular basis? You should also get your employees involved as they play a huge role in creating an environmentally-aware workplace culture. Reward positive behaviours towards recycling, and you will notice that it encourages others to do the same. You should also place recycling bins near desk spaces to set clear expectations in place.
2. Air Pollution
Air pollution continues to be a growing problem worldwide. Globally, it costs our economy a significant amount of money each year, impacting local businesses. Air pollution can not only cost your business money, but it can also affect your employee performance. CO2 can impact the environment, which can ruin the morale of your employees. You should try to minimise the amount of air pollution your business causes. Not only will this affect your employees, it could ruin the reputation of your business in the local area.
Your business will need to re-assess its supply chain to tackle any air pollution head-on. Unfortunately, your supply chain could be having a dramatic effect on the environment. Greenhouse gases are emitted from the transportation of goods while factories may release hazardous chemicals into the atmosphere. The solution is to build more sustainable supply chains. These supply chain courses equip you with valuable tools and knowledge to help you build more resilient and efficient supply chains.
3. Waste Disposal
We have already discussed the positive effect of recycling on a business and the environment. However, not all businesses have adopted this sustainable approach to waste disposal. Many companies out there still choose to dump their waste in landfills. This creates a harmful environment where these businesses operate and drives up the cost of dumping waste altogether. To tackle this, all business leaders should look at ways to reduce their waste overall. Although this may sound like a challenge, all organisations can achieve better waste management by making some small changes in the workplace.
Paper waste continues to be a problem for businesses throughout the UK. Statistics show that we use over 12.5 million tonnes of paper annually. The solution? Many companies are now starting to go paperless. By turning to online billing and paperwork, businesses can significantly reduce their paper wastage each year. Not only is this better for the environment, but it creates more space in the workplace by clearing out storage space. Not all businesses can fully operate without using paper. For those that do need it, it is advised to use recycled paper.
4. Access To Resources
The demand for natural resources is at an all-time high. You will find that most companies use natural resources as their primary raw material. However, access to them is quickly becoming limited. This lack of resources affects businesses dramatically as it slows down the production line, meaning fewer products are produced – and less profit is made. To preserve the natural resources we have left on the planet, businesses must learn to use them without damaging them. It is time to cut back on the number of natural resources each company uses. Instead, business leaders should use renewable resources like solar energy to replace non-renewable resources like fossil fuels.
All businesses must conduct some research into the available renewable energy, as it is estimated that all of our fossil fuels will be depleted by 2060. Therefore, organisations should consider using renewable resources to prepare them for this possible change. Wind energy has become a popular option and is the most financially viable for most companies. Today more wind farms are cropping up around the country. However, this has not proved popular with some people as the landscape has to be sacrificed for them to be built.
5. Climate Change
Climate change has always posed a considerable threat to businesses. In recent years, the UK has fallen victim to intense weather conditions and an increased risk of global warming. Both factors have made it a lot more difficult for businesses to operate the same way all year round. To acknowledge these risks and put strategic plans in place to address them, all companies must take time to understand the effect that climate change can have on our environment. Gaining this understanding will allow business leaders to analyse their operations and identify areas that could be made more environmentally friendly.
Some business sectors are likely to be more affected by climate change than others. Therefore, it is important to do your research to determine if your organisation falls into a high-risk category. There are some climate change threats, like flooding, that can affect all businesses. If your organisation is located in an area prone to flooding, you must ensure that you have flood defences in place and contingency plans for alternative working arrangements. For example, can your staff fulfil their work duties remotely?
Environmental factors will continue to affect businesses for years to come. However, with sustainable approaches and increased awareness of environmental responsibility, organisations can begin to operate in a more eco-friendly manner, helping them strive towards further success while protecting the planet’s natural resources.
It is important to note that business leaders cannot tackle these factors alone and need the support of their teams. Sending employees onto courses like a sustainable supply chain management course can enhance their skill sets and give them the tools they need to develop and implement sustainable strategies effectively. Recycling and reducing the amount of waste we produce is also a necessity. It’s time for businesses to stop relying on landfills by making use of the resources they already have.