Can environmental policies ensure your business’ long term survival? Well, no, of course they can’t. There are many factors that will influence how your business will perform in the long term. Your skills in your particular sector; customer service; financial awareness; ambition and motivation; management skills and marketing will all play a role.
Can a lack of environmental policies contribute to your business’ demise? Certainly this is more possible. Consumers, business customers and public sector will increasingly require their suppliers to be responsible with regard to the environment. There are no fixed time scales, but eventually market forces will curtail the operations of businesses that act in a profligate and thoughtless manner.
Costs for utilities, fuel, energy, water and waste disposal are likely to continue to rise more rapidly than inflation. The result will be that businesses with tight control on the use of these resources will benefit. Those which disregard environmental matters will suffer reduced margins, or will increase their prices and suffer reduced demand.
Taxation policies are likely to continue to penalise wastage. The landfill tax, set at £24 per tonne in the 2007/08 tax year, is set to increase by £8 per tonne each year from April 2008 until at least 2010/11. This tax is administered by waste disposal companies, but passed on to all businesses in proportion to their non-recycled waste through waste disposal prices. Climate change levy is a direct cost that is paid by all businesses in proportion to their use of non-renewable energy use. As the environmental charges increase, and more ecotax charges and incentives are implemented, the businesses with a sound foundation of environmental policy will gain competitive advantage.
To address your environmental policy now makes business sense at every level.