• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Can businesses afford to be concerned about the environment?

Extracts from this document...


Can businesses afford to be concerned about the environment? Over recent years, many changes in social attitudes and green consumerism have highlighted the need for firms to be more aware on the impact of operations and disposal of waste within society and the problems that it causes. With the increasing pressures of U.K and European legislation being implemented by all 15 members of the union, namely "The Environmental Protection act 1991", firms can face large penalties for inappropriate behaviour, which may jeopardise the future of the company. The decision to follow an "environmentally friendly approach" may depend on the type of business, its culture and beliefs and its current financial position. As most businesses are "profit maximises", there are benefits and adverse effect on such a decision. Businesses can damage the environment in a number of ways. Global warming is occurring whereby CFC's and Carbon Dioxide are damaging the o-zone layer and pollutants in the atmosphere causing smog and acid rain. A firm may accept its social beliefs and responsibilities willingly, in genuine belief that they should operate in a morally acceptable manner or derive some positive publicity and promoting a positive corporate image. ...read more.


For example, the Body Shop (cosmetics) has followed this approach, which has helped gain a competitive edge over rivals. The advertising within the shop and on the label of the product states that non of the research had been tested on animals and by addressing this factor, the products was sold at a premium price with a unique selling point which would see Body shop develop into the market leader. The success not only allows the business to breed hansom profit margins, but help increase the level of motivation within the workforce. Firms may also find it easier to raise funds if the have a good and clean environmental record i.e. the Co-operative bank will not lend money to business that damage the environment. Trade-offs may exist because adopting an ecological sound production process may provide special capital and job losses. Meeting the standards imposes additional costs on business, as they may need to introduce new processes, retrain employees and use more expensive resources. A firm may want to carry out an environmental audit, which measures the impact of there operations in society. ...read more.


Members of Friends of the Earth chained themselves to the rig; while some members on land attacked Shell petrol stations to enforce there belief on what shell was doing was wrong. However, Shell learnt from their mistakes and invested �4m in an energy recovery plant, which burns wastes to give a "clean" public image. Economists regard pollution as a market-failure to be tackled by government policy. Government intervention may by in a direct manner over certain practises or the imposition of "green taxes". The latter is favoured by those that favour market principles, since it makes the polluter pay for the damage caused. This may make firms more conscious on the consequences of over polluting as there a constant threat of extra costs, which may affect the level profits and overall competitiveness. In society today, it would be deemed ignorant if a firm ignored its impact on the environment, and with businesses now operating within a single market across Europe, firms can face large penalties when not conforming with the rules and can damage the reputation and international competitiveness of any firm. ?? ?? ?? ?? Mark Lewis Williams 20/04/07 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Environmental Management section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Environmental Management essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    The impact of human activities on the environment

    3 star(s)

    Gases reach the atmosphere in the number of ways including combustion of fossil fuels, industrial emissions and microbial processes. Gases reaching the air include sulphur dioxide, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, chlorofluorocarbons (CFC's), and methane and smoke particles. Large amounts of these gases can have very serious effects.

  2. Deforestation and its impact on the environment

    Deforestation affects the earth tremendously; leaving us with pollution due to an excessive amount of carbon dioxide in the air, soil erosion, stream erosion, loss of fisheries and water supply, as well as the loss of recreation. Trees protect the soil from the rain and wind.

  1. I am going to research waste pollution. I have chosen to research waste pollution ...

    Many participants said that they would consider moving or would not have moved to the borough if they were aware of the health risks or incineration before they moved. From looking at the primary data collected in task two you can see that incineration has more health risks there are

  2. The Impact of Man on the Environment.

    Saprotrophic bacteria and fungi are decomposers which secrete digestive enzymes onto dead organisms or their waste, thus absorbing the product of digestion as nutrients. One of the important product of this decay is ammonia (NH3, a compound of Nitrogen), which is washed into the soil.

  1. Free essay

    Health & The Environment

    The main theories to link air pollution and asthma is pollutants, such as solvent aerosols, air-borne chemicals (sulphur dioxide etc) and air-borne organic compounds, for example pesticides. The London Smog Disaster occurred in December 1952. London experienced a cold period therefore a large amount of coal was burnt resulting in smoke bellowing from the chimneys.

  2. Sociocultural Factors Affecting BP Petrol Filling Stations in the UK

    Sustainable water management is another feature of the station, with a reed bed which is employed to treat waste water. This technique channels any run-off from the site through the reed bed. The bacteria living on the roots of the reeds break down any oil contaminants, filtering and cleaning the water.

  1. Environmental Audit Assignment: The Company that I am analysing is BP (British Petroleum).

    manage the future impact of there emissions at or below 2001 levels until 2012. In 2002, and after taking account of portfolio changes, this was achieved through a combination of energy efficiency and venting and flaring projects which have contributed to sustainable reductions and which have more than offset emissions growth from new facilities and increased utilization of existing facilities.

  2. Enviromental Health - how humans can damage the environment

    Both types of chemical tend to increase yields, and thus make a significant difference in food production, particularly in countries that struggle periodically with famines. On the other hand, they both can cause water pollution when erosion carries the chemicals off of farms along with eroded soils after each rainfall.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work