Corporate philosophies for environmental pollution prevention

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Introduction

The goals of a company define the purpose of its creation.  In order for these goals to be achieved, the corporate philosophy is developed to guide the employees and the customers on the company’s intention.  A well-established corporate philosophy strengthens the relationship between employees and employers through the development of a corporate culture as well as ethical practices.  When pollution prevention is part of the company’s corporate philosophy, it becomes a culture, among the employees and everyone within or outside the company, to practice as well as encourage such efforts.  The corporate philosophy is, therefore, important in pollution prevention.

Discussion

It has been established that prevention of pollution from the source is better than controlling the pollution. This is due to the fact that prevention is more effective and less costly in comparison to controlling pollution.  Therefore, it is important that corporate philosophies include pollution prevention measures in order to effectively deal with the pollution menace not only because of the benefits this brings to the environment, but also because it has proven to be more economical (Fisher et al., 2012).  Pollution prevention in a company involves reformation of products, modification of processes in order to make them environment-friendly, equipment redesign, recycling or reuse of products as well as recovery of waste materials for resale.  These companies benefit greatly from corporate philosophies such as the aforementioned in a number of ways.  Cost saving is one of the advantages.  According to Keivan Zokaei (2013), money is saved through reduction of physical waste, enhancing energy efficiency, or increasing resource productivity. EDF  Climate Corps have since 2008, uncovered energy saving opportunities including replacement of old computers and changing light bulbs; a move which would lead to the reduction of a billion dollars in net operational costs over project lifetimes.

Seventh Generation; a company which makes environmental friendly detergent, trash bags, and diapers, banks more than 200 dollars in sales.  Founded in 1988, the company produces biodegradable vegetable-based cleaning products, chlorine free tampons and paper towels, and natural lotion baby wipes (Adams, 2016). The employees are awarded via a bonus program for coming up with new ways of making even more sustainable company wares.  The companies’ offices are in a LEED-certified building, with low emission cars making up more than a quarter of the companies’ vehicle fleet.  In addition, during manufacturing of products, more than a quarter of the energy burned is from renewable energy.

Consumer demand is another benefit of an effective pollution prevention corporate philosophy.  Companies with environment-friendly policies attract consumers concerned about a company’s environmental footprint (Fisher et al.,2012). When a company operates with measures in place to ensure the environmental pollution is minimized at all costs, it attracts more customers as they are assured that their participation will not cause more harm to the environment.  A company whose production contributes to environmental pollution attracts criticism from the general public.  Method; a company which manufactures environmentally friendly cleaning and personal care products, was founded by Eric Ryan and Adam Lowry.  The main intent of establishing the company was to make their cleaning products effective and at the same time aesthetically appealing with attractive packaging (Adams, 2016). All of its products are made using recycled plastic and has attracted a lot of suppliers in efforts to improve their environmental efficiency.

Another benefit is tax incentives.  The national and local government offer support to companies and initiatives undertaking environmentally friendly activities through investment in such products, tax credits, exemption from taxes, accelerated depreciation for certain capital expenses, and cash grants. One of the duties of the government is to ensure the environment is kept clean and deal with anything that contributes to environmental pollution.  Governments are therefore on the forefront in support of organizations with a similar objective; that is, prevention of environmental pollution.  Therefore, companies with a focus on promoting this objective greatly benefit as opposed to those which have to include it in their corporate philosophy.

Another key benefit of such a corporate philosophy is the retention of employees.  People like to be associated with the positive, and environmental protection is an initiative that attracts both consumers and employees with a desire to better their surroundings.  When employees are aware that they are working for a greater cause, it excites them (Fisher et al., 2012). The employees will give their best at work, leading to achievement of the company’s goals as well as strengthening the relationship between the employee and the employer.

Resource limitation is yet another key reason why companies should incorporate pollution prevention into their corporate philosophy.  As scarcity of natural resources increases, the cost of production increases.  It is therefore important to find ways of conserving this resources or look for an alternative resource.  A successful company will do both. New Belgium Brewing in Fort Collins, is ranked fourth by B Lab, among the companies considered best for the environment.  The company recycles, reuses, or composts more than 75 percent of the waste products from manufacturing.  It also keeps track of its energy use, emissions and wastes production.  With more than 480 employees, and being a hundred percent employee-owned, the company’s revenue is more than 180 million dollars.  This emphasizes the need to conserve the available resources through recycling.  The other alternative is the use of alternative resources for products.  At the seventh place on the B Lab list is West Paw Design, in Bozeman.  The company makes Eco-friendly dog toys, mats, and beds filled with fiber from recycled plastic bottles.  It also uses recycled paper and soy-based inks for packaging.  Customers are also encouraged to return used products for recycling.  In this way, the company prevents pollution by recycling as well as conserving the natural resources by using an alternative raw material (Adams, 2016).

A pollution prevention philosophy in a company is a window for new revenue opportunities.  Companies like DuPont saved 2.2 billion dollars through energy efficiency.  Over the next 10 years, Unilever plans to double its revenue while reducing the environmental impact of its products by half (Adams, 2016).  GE has invested heavily in Ecomagination project; a strategy for driving innovation and growth of environmental solutions and at the same time engaging stakeholders.  It also aims at reducing, by half, the energy intensity of its operations by 2015.

Conclusion

It is evident that incorporation of pollution prevention in a company’s corporate philosophy is of great benefit to the company as well as to the environment.  Companies should, therefore, focus on prevention of pollution rather than control as it has proven, in countless ways, to be more effective and profitable.

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  1. Adams, S. (2016, March 28).  11 Companies considered best for the environment Retrieved January 08, 2018, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/susanadams/2014/04/22/11-companies-considered-best-for-the-environment/
  2. Keivan Zokaei (2013, May 07).Why Companies Should Care about Environment.  Eco-business Journal.  Retrieved January 08, 2018, from http://www.eco-business.com/opinion/why-companies-should-care-about-environment/
  3. Fisher, C., Bashyal, S., & Bachman, B. (2012). Demographic impacts on environmentally friendly purchase behaviors. Journal of Targeting, Measurement and Analysis for Marketing, 20(3-4), 172-184. doi:10.1057/jt.2012.13
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