Firms need to be environmentally and socially accountable

The environmental and social impact of large companies is often being held to account  by the government and shareholders of the company. Unfortunately, most of the environmental impact of large companies happens in the supply chain, and not within the company itself. Therefore, people are more than ever looking at ways to influence the supply chain the company uses to make sure that they are being environmentally and socially accountable.

Many people would say that it is the responsibility of companies to make sure that they have sustainable business practices through their entire supply chain. More often than not though other considerations take priority and sustainable business practices are left behind. Sustainability is something that must permeate all levels of the business and one type of sustainability will not work throughout an entire business.

While most people associate a lack of sustainability with large conglomerates, it is often small businesses that are failing the most to adopt sustainable practices. It is easy to cut them some slack with the economy being in its current state, as they are focusing on surviving rather than spend it on something that is largely irrelevant to profit.

However, there are some basic steps that any company can take, no matter what size, to make sure that they are acting in a more environmentally friendly way. For example, let’s examine a company which rents a simple office and only has a few employees. The environmental policies that this company might initiate could actually save them money.

For one, they can show that they switch off all computers and lights when they are not being used and wear warmer clothing so overheating the office is necessary. It is also possible to easily cut down transport costs by asking members of staff to walk or cycle to meetings instead of using a car, this also has the additional benefit that it will cut down the environmental footprint of the company.

It is easy for companies to find ways that they can be sustainable no matter what their size. Unfortunately, it is all too often the case that people demand companies be sustainable in certain ways that sometimes are not appropriate for smaller companies.

Small businesses can’t be expected to have advanced environmental policies but they can do the little things to ensure their business is environmentally friendly and socially responsible. While a large conglomerate might have a policy on biodiversity, it is enough for a small business to simply ensure that they are using their heating efficiently.

More education among the public and companies would be beneficial in teaching people how different environmental standards can be applied to different companies. People need to be aware that small businesses can reduce their environmental and social impact without having to spend a lot of money or hire additional staff.

They must focus on the small things that can make a big difference and this is something that their potential customers should be informed of and be knowledgeable about.