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Lucubrate Magazine, January 11th, 2023

Many people love to live in nature, but human actions may damage the natural environment. Human activity has led to significant changes in many wilderness areas and has caused damage to forests, seas and other regions previously protected from human exploitation. However, humans have also shown compassion and ingenuity by finding ways to co-exist with nature. For example, eco-villages and zoos help people connect with and care for nature without destroying it. Essentially, we need both exploitative and conservationist actions to preserve the environment.

The environment is crucial to human life; it provides clean air, water and land. It also helps us maintain a healthy ecosystem. Therefore, businesses should respect and care for the natural world. No matter how big or small a business is, it needs to consider the environment when running its operations.

Sustainable enterprise through innovation or conservation

Many businesses contribute to environmental sustainability through innovation or conservation of natural areas damaged by human actions. Therefore, individuals must support enterprises that help preserve the environment. The world will only return to normal if corporations stop harming them and start caring for them again. On the other hand, exploitative actions damage wilderness areas much more quickly than companies can repair the damage done. Therefore, we need both actions. We need to preserve the environment.

Sustainable enterprise is a concept expressing the idea that an enterprise should be able to meet its needs without negatively impacting the environment. 

Sustainability is a key concept in sustainable development. The idea has gained traction in the last decade as awareness and understanding of the importance of sustainability have increased. Consumers are becoming more aware of the harm their purchases cause. The consciousness of the damage has increased the number of sustainable products available to them. Everyone is looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint by purchasing sustainable products. Start-up companies are creating more sustainable products to meet consumer demand.

Most enterprises, including small ones, are implementing measures to reduce waste and carbon emissions; in most cases, this entails no cost or even a reduction in production costs. Steps to green the places where people carry out their work are an integral part of the greening of enterprises and are essential to both workers and employers. However, we must do more to help enterprises and workplaces become green and productive in environmentally sustainable ways. It is important to highlight innovative tools and solutions to make enterprises greener.

Environmental ethics and sustainable enterprise

Sustainable enterprises believe that if they do not exploit sustainable resources, they will be unable to continue operating. Exploitation leads to the destruction of resources and, consequently, global warming and other environmental problems. Therefore, sustainable enterprise seeks to find ways to produce goods and services with minimal environmental impact.

Sustainable enterprise encompasses many principles and concepts. For example, it includes environmental ethics, social responsibility, transparency, accountability and decentralized management. Essentially, it promotes environmentally conscious business methods that benefit the environment and the people inhabiting it. In addition, sustainable enterprise promotes green jobs available to employees knowledgeable in sustainability. 

Green Enterprise and sustainable enterprise 

In general, several options are open to enterprises to reduce their impact on the natural environment or “go green”. One option is producing green goods and services, such as solar panels. Another option is to adopt greener production processes – in other words, to use renewable energy and sustainable raw materials when we use technology that produces more output with the same level of inputs (resource efficiency) and to manage waste more efficiently. [1]

Many organizations set standards for their products, services and facilities to conserve energy and reduce carbon emissions—for example, airlines reduce carbon emissions by choosing more sustainable fuel sources for their aeroplanes. Additionally, governments set fuel consumption and car manufacturing standards to conserve energy and reduce carbon emissions. A green workplace saves natural resources while lowering employee stress. Employees are less likely to worry about wasting resources if they work in a sustainable green workplace. Furthermore, they feel more comfortable when working in a non-toxic environment.

Illustration: Adobe Stock

In Sustainable enterprises, the employees are positive about their job.

However, there is more to enterprises than what they produce and how they create it. Enterprises are also workplaces. For many enterprises and workers today, the greening of workplaces can significantly reduce carbon emissions. For example, sustainable commuting, energy and waste management at the workplace, teleworking and sustainable food at work are relatively ordinary. In this context, the extent to which enterprises may be considered green depends on how much they green their outputs, production processes and workplaces [1]. 

Employers who adopt green policies find their employees feel more relaxed when working in an environmentally friendly environment. Employees who work in a green space feel more positive about their job, the company and themselves. They feel safer knowing that the company is taking precautions to protect the environment. Greening the workspace reduces absenteeism by making employees feel more comfortable coming to work every day. Companies save money by reducing health problems among their workforce due to poor working conditions.

Employers who adopt sustainable green policies also experience great pride in doing so. They are proud of protecting the environment and reducing carbon emissions from human activities. Greening attracts new investors as it promotes a sustainable living and working lifestyle. Green initiatives promote environmentally friendly business models such as organic farming or digital manufacturing. Sustainability becomes part of a company’s image by encouraging ecologically friendly employees, consumers and investors.

A stable, predictable and healthy environment for the enterprises

Enterprises rely on a stable, predictable and healthy natural environment for producing and delivering goods and services. Whereas in agriculture, mining and ecotourism, enterprises rely directly on natural resources for their raw inputs, food and beverage manufacturing, textiles, and construction indirectly depend on the environment under economic linkages. These enterprises are threatened by the increasing scarcity of natural resources and the Earth’s limited capacity to absorb waste and greenhouse gas. Furthermore, the functioning of enterprises depends directly and indirectly on the provision of ecosystem services (for example, pollination of crops and air purification) that govern the quantity and quality of the enterprises’ inputs, many of which need to be priced adequately [1]. 

How does the operation have impacts the environment?

Companies should respect and take care of the natural world when running their businesses. Considering how the operation impacts the environment makes its development strategy more environmentally friendly and sustainable. 

Every company should consider how its operation impacts the environment. Here is a list of suggestions:

  • find out how the process affects the environment.
  • think about how it is possible to reduce negative environmental impacts.
  • think about how it is possible to restore impacted environments after the use
  • consider adopting environmentally friendly products
  • recycle more

References

[1] Catherine Saget, Tahmina Karimova, Trang Luu, Nicolas Maitre and Sévane Ananian: Greening Enterprises Transforming processes and workplaces. ILO-report, 14 November 2022


Lucubrate Magazine January 2023

The photo on the top of the article: Adobe Stock


Sustainability development concept with venn diagram, vector illustration

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Lucubrate Magazine
Lucubrate Magazine

Lucubrate Magazine highlights trends in education and development. Development in this context can be technological, educational, individual, social or global, and everything related to education.
Lucubrate Magazine is a global based on the web magazine with the main office in Norway.

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