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How can legislation enhance sustainable business operations?

Environmental legislation has the potential to change the game for businesses, as well as how owners and customers perceive their efforts to improve the environment through ethical and sustainable resources and purchases.

Legislation sets the foundation for enhancing the business operations and the ways that this can be successful without being destructive to the environment, which is currently in crisis. Businesses are critical to keeping the country afloat in economic and sociological terms; this value can be found in business culture, creativity, and the creation of job opportunities. This is based on a plethora of individual specialisms including research and development, planning and strategising, alongside grasping scientific discoveries in the context of business operations to maximise profits. This happens in stages that all come together to produce something with a purpose. So, given the tangible role of corporations in our society, and the economic prosperity that such creates in a capitalist system, can we reshape our business operations in an environmentally friendly manner to avoid the environmental and socioeconomic risks attached to ‘business as usual’?

Can environmentally friendly businesses be profitable?

Being environmentally conscious doesn't have to be expensive, as having an eco-friendly brand necessitates the usage of sustainable and green practises by vendors and suppliers. These manufacturers strive to make something natural and organic and have a feeling of worth within what it is; as a result, it is a brand that wants to express its social value and identify as an ecologically and socially beneficial brand or organisation. As a result, for the time being, customers will be willing to pay for the price premium, which will increase sales, benefiting companies with so many people appreciating these values. According to Climate Conscious research ‘shows that sustainability and profit actually coexist pretty well. 37% of businesses are reporting profit from sustainability and as many as one in two companies have adapted their business model to take advantage of sustainability opportunities.’ As illustrated in The Guardian, ‘we prevent physical waste, increase energy efficiency or improve resource productivity, we save money, improve profitability and enhance competitiveness.’

Entrenching legislation that ensures sustainable practises such as requiring employee well being and stakeholder engagement with suppliers, and customers. Dealing ethically with suppliers and vendors includes paying fair or fixed pricing and not taking advantage of negotiations, setting acceptable expectations, and paying bills on time. Lastly, treating consumers ethically includes enhancing transparency, externally ensuring corporate sustainability practises.

Sustainability-related legislation can take various forms, whether that is in the scope of human rights, including Modern Slavery, or whether that includes disclosure requirements for enhancing transparency, legislation comes to play an integral role in ensuring sustainable corporate practises. For instance, it has been estimated that following the European Non-Financial Disclosure Standards to include a broader reach of companies, the number of entities reporting their sustainability practises will jump from 5,000 companies to 11,000.

How does it create a good impact and reputation?

Environmentally friendly legislation on businesses will have a positive impact because we now live in a generation where even young children to older people want and prefer to be involved as a consumer in something sustainable and ethically sourced. Due to the prominent role that corporate practises play in social life, as well as the role that such have played in exacerbating the climate crisis, it is businesses and the laws regulating them that hold the power to trigger and accelerate meaningful change.


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