Environmental Policies Benefit Manufacturers
Sustainable and environmentally-conscious operations secure longevity and safety for future generations, but these considerations also impact businesses’ finances, reputations, hiring practices, and many other aspects. Initiating or strengthening positive environmental policies not only helps the Earth, but it can also provide a number of benefits for manufacturers of all sizes.
No Regulatory Concerns
Besides the EPA, other national, regional, state, and even local entities create and enforce—often with fines—legislation to protect the environment and natural resources. As environmental concerns increase and citizens become more invested in environmental protection, limits and restrictions on emissions, waste, pollution, water usage, energy usage, and other factors are likely to become stricter. Manufacturers enacting forward-thinking policies will avoid fines, inspections, and last-minute scrambles to adhere to new rules.
While avoiding potentially serious fines for environmental mismanagement, manufacturers can reduce other expenses with sustainable operations. Environmental policies can be as simple as using less packaging, less energy, less water, and fewer resources, generally through increased efficiency. Many businesses have switched to lighter, more efficient packaging to save on costs of materials and shipping, while also reducing environmental costs. Simple considerations like energy-efficient bulbs, low-water toilets, or switching to an electronic documentation system can save thousands or millions of units of energy, water, and paper, as well as dollars.
News coverage of an oil spill, refuse dump or chemical poisoning will wreak havoc on a business’s reputation. However, a business that practices environmental responsibility and helps to protect natural resources can also build a positive reputation. A manufacturer does not have to make solar panels or electric cars to consider themselves “green.” New office policies to decrease waste, new technology installed to reduce energy use, or volunteer work to clean up a lake, pond, park or forest, are all press-release-worthy events that will make neighbors, partners, community members, and customers see businesses in a positive light.
The new generation of workers is more concerned about the environment and more involved in environmental preservation than previous generations. These young engineers, machinists, welders, technicians, programmers, and other young professionals also want to work for companies that make positive differences. Young employees that feel that their company is environmentally responsible are more likely to forge a loyal connection to their business, also reducing absenteeism, turnover, and increasing productivity.
Whether environmental policies are large or small, working slowly or quickly, manufacturers can use environmental stewardship to their build their business in a variety of ways, as well as helping the environment.