Corporate social responsibility, in particular for environmental protection, is on the rise again, thanks in no small part to forward-thinking companies, such as AstraZeneca, Kingfisher and Sun Microsystems. For instance, Kingfisher was recently recognised by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) in its Carbon Performance Leadership Index as having demonstrated leadership in tackling climate change, by reducing its CO2 emissions by eight percent.
Whilst there is clear Government regulation aimed at ensuring effective waste management, enforced by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), such as the Environmental Protection Act, The Producer Responsibility Obligations Regulations, and Waste Minimization Act, the response to it has, at times, been mixed, with many businesses failing in their duties to the general public, often because of perceived costs.
The new generation of environmentally responsible businesses, however, has brought about a change, aiming to minimise the impact upon the environment, whilst fulfilling statutory duties and recognising that cost can no longer be the driving factor. These businesses have produced waste management strategies that deal with every aspect of the process, right the way through from collection to disposal, with recycling where appropriate. Many companies have, indeed, been formed solely for this purpose.
The benefits of the new approach are clear. Poor waste management can have a dramatic effect on people and their surroundings, and accordingly reduce the quality of life. The benefits of publicity and goodwill that environmentally-friendly companies receive far outweigh the cost. We want to protect the planet for the benefit of future generations onwards.
In an age of increasing environmental degradation, it is increasingly necessary for organisations and individuals to take positive steps towards creating a healthier, happier environment and large corporations, in particular, need to amend their practices and follow the fine example of companies such as AstraZeneca, Kingfisher and Sun Microsystems.