In exploring the environment under the lens of CSE the goal is to reduce any damaging effects on the environment from the operation of the business. A variety of forces are heightening interest in CSE including increased affluence, ecological sustainability, globalization, the free flow of information, and brands. Affluence means those who live in wealthy countries can make choices based on considerations that are more varied and complex than simple survival and economics.
Ecological sustainability in the context of a shared planet and the public’s perceptions of an organisation’s commitment to the health and well-being of the communities in which it operates. Organistions that do obvious ecological damage are increasingly penalized by high profile protests from activist groups such as Greenpeace, which have become particularly adept at gaining media attention.
Globalization increasingly strips down geographical and cultural barriers, so that actions in one place are subject to evaluation from the perspective of multiple cultures, laws, and societal expectations. Globalization combined with the ever increasingly free flow of information, means the impacts of what happens at one side of the world can be experienced on the far side.
Perhaps nowhere is the impact of CSE more obvious than when it comes to brands. The equity built up from customer use, advertising, and other image-shaping actions represents an often-huge investment and an important “asset” to the firm. Maltreatment of workers, defective products, and related problems can tarnish, even destroy, a brand and the investments made to create it.
The areas of environmental focus are:
- energy use
- water use
- waste management
- eco-friendly office and business travel policies
Advantages of CSE for the environmental
Engaging in CSE can reduce business risk, improve reputation and provide opportunities for cost savings. Even the simplest energy efficiency measures can generate savings and make a difference for business. For example:
- switching off lights and equipment when not in use
- reducing the use of water
- reducing the amount of paper you waste
Caring about the environment can increase revenue as customers prefer to buy from responsible companies. Some of these are significant from both environmental and financial points of view. However, CSE can take these efforts a step further. CSE looks at how organistions can partner, and create innovative solutions to address environmental issues on a larger scale, beyond those simple activitie that each organistion can do on their own.
Reducing Environmental Impact
You can reduce a business’ environmental impact in many ways. For example, you can:
- create products that can be recycled
- optimise the product life cycle
- source responsibly using recycled materials, sustainable materials or materials produced locally to reduce carbon emissions
- reduce packaging
- buy locally to save fuel costs
- create an efficient distribution network
- work with environmentally conscious suppliers and distributors