Businesses ranging from multinational corporations to SMEs rely on the trust and confidence of their clients to succeed. There is therefore always substantial risk involved in maintaining the preference of crucial stakeholders whose requirements are constantly evolving, becoming more sophisticated.
Consequently, stakeholders need consistent engagement and commitment from businesses in line with their customers’ particular needs. It is noteworthy that transparent consultation with diverse stakeholders provides important input that informs a decision-making process. This helps a business achieve its Vision and Mission.
In this regard, adherence to environmental law may enhance the reputation of a business and build its relationship with clients. In general, environmental and social considerations are nowadays being taken significantly into account when making investment decisions. Therefore, increased investment is made in sustainable activities. Unfortunately, organisations have separated performance from corporate responsibility initiatives, which can offer a strategic, competitive advantage – not only for Marketing & Communication purposes. However, environmental complacency is no longer an option.
It is noteworthy that the Business Roundtable recently reaffirmed the commitment to addressing Climate Change. Mr Cote, Chairman and CEO of Honeywell and Chair of Business Roundtable’s Energy and Environment Committee, said that “Business Roundtable recognizes the potential consequences of climate change and supports both government and private sector actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions globally.” The Global Reporting Initiative is also a useful framework setting out the principles and indicators that organisations can use to measure and report their economic, environmental and social performance.
As a first step, an official and effective Sustainability and Responsibility Policy may be implemented by a business that may set out the following:
Purpose, Performance and Progress
Charity & Philanthropy
Volunteering & Community Service
Ethics & Compliance
Transparency is absolutely necessary through consultation with clients, shareholders and staff on ethical and environmental matters to ensure that the required information is circulated and corresponding actions are taken. However, this remains a matter of business culture which must be embedded proactively in the long-term. This may ultimately manage business risk if there is due substance in a corporate sustainability and responsibility programme that will create a greener business.
Environmental law and policies constantly evolve as an integral part of processes worldwide. Given the ongoing course of globalisation, a carefully balanced exercise is required by all stakeholders of a business to comply with environmental regulation. The environmental legal framework must be strategically used to combat critical environmental problems, in the best interest of current and future generations.
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