1.1: Describe current legislation in relation to environmental sustainability in a business environment
The EU Waste Framework Directive has set out 5 steps for dealing with waste, ranked according to environmental impact – the ‘waste hierarchy’.
Prevention: In order to prevent unnecessary waste, Dee Atkinson & Harrison reuses the cardboard boxes which are used to separate and segment lots.
Preparing for re-use: There are a multitude of items that Dee Atkinson & Harrison reuse to prevent waste, such as small plastic trays. These are usually obtained when a vendor brings in a collection of small items, usually they wouldn’t need the container back so instead of us throwing it away we use it to display smaller items on our shelves. Plastics are produced by fossil fuels, which are non-renewable resources, it’s estimated that by 2050 the oceans will contain more plastic than fish by weight. So, to combat this Dee Atkinson & Harrison reuses any products that they can find a use for.
Recycling: Anything that can be recycled, Dee Atkinson & Harrison ensures to recycle. This includes paper, cardboard and some plastics. We have designated recycling collection points which are frequently collected and recycled. We use a lot of paper in the office, so to combat this we try to cut down on the amount of paper which is used (printing double-sided, emailing invoices instead of posting them, etc.)
Other recovery: This includes anaerobic digestion, incineration with energy recovery, gasification and pyrolysis. If Dee Atkinson & Harrison were to perform construction work to expand the office or Saleroom, we may have to remove shrubbery and grass in the process. So, one further way for us to recycle would be to ensure that any garden waste is put in our brown bins, which could then be used to create energy as opposed to creating additional pollution on landfills.
Disposal: If all previous options aren’t available, then Dee Atkinson ; Harrison may choose to dispose of any waste to a landfill, however, since this in turn causes large amounts of pollution it is ill-advised and often used as a last resort.
1.2: Explain government incentives that support environmental sustainability in a business environment
There are various incentives set in place to encourage Dee Atkinson ; Harrison to be more self-sufficient and environmentally friendly. One of these ‘incentives’ is environmental taxes, these encourage our business to operate in a more environmentally friendly way to avoid large costs and in turn save money. There are taxes and schemes for different types and size of business. The only way to become exempt from this tax is to buy energy-efficient technology for the business, which we have opted to do so. Dee Atkinson ; Harrison could also enjoy other benefits. Many government organisations and large companies will only work with businesses who take their environmental responsibilities seriously and since we do, we have a greater likelihood of this happening. We may also find it easier to attract investment from banks and other sources of finance, also if our brand is known to cause large amounts of pollution, then some customers may choose to not use us as this could be a deterrent, so to maintain a good reputation we do everything in our power to minimise waste.
Sustainable development can create opportunities for your business. As well as making financial savings, you can enhance your reputation and brand value by fostering customer loyalty and motivating staff. You can also use sustainable development as an opportunity to encourage innovation, increase investment and open new markets.
You can pay less tax by applying for schemes to help you demonstrate that you’re operating more efficiently and producing waste that’s less damaging.
If we invest in energy and water-saving technologies, and environmentally friendly vehicles, our business could qualify for Enhanced Capital Allowances (ECAs). These can help us to reduce our tax bill.
Becoming a more sustainable business can have a real impact on our staff. We may see an increase in productivity, as people often enjoy working for ethically driven companies. It could also reduce staff turnover and save on recruitment costs.
1.3: Analyse the relationship between environmental sustainability and corporate social responsibility
Corporate social responsibility can involve a range of activities such as working in partnership with local communities, socially responsible investment (SRI), developing relationships with employees and customers and environmental protection and sustainability. Some businesses have as their main purpose the fulfilment of social or environmental goals, as opposed to a business that tries to achieve its financial goals while minimising any negative impact on society or the environment. These businesses are called Social Enterprises.
Dee Atkinson ; Harrison, as well as many other companies, use CSR as an important way to increase competitive advantage, as it helps to build trust with customers and employees and also raise brand awareness.
Environmental Sustainability in business involves making responsible decisions that will reduce our business’ negative impact on the environment. It involves making decisions and taking actions that are in the interests of protecting the environment.
CSR looks backwards at performance, typically over the last 12 months, while sustainability has a more prominent forward-facing focus, with targets to secure the future for trading.
Both CSR and sustainability understand that the context, community and environment in which a business operates is integral to that business’ success. Sustainability, then, goes on step further by taking into account the needs of the future generations.
1.4: Explain the health and safety considerations for environmental sustainability and waste management
Health and safety considerations for waste management include; use of PPE, manual handling, slips, trips and falls, workplace transport…
When handling waste, it is important to be aware of the appropriate legislation and guidance relevant to the specific subject matter and should also be aware of general requirements under The Health ; Safety a Work etc. Act 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.
There are also specific requirements for some sites licensed under the Environmental Permitting Regulations that require staff at permitted waste facilities to be competent and for the employer to demonstrate technical competence by a scheme recognised and approved by Defra (the Department for Environmental, Food and Rural Affairs).
1.5: Explain techniques to evaluate the impact of an organisation’s environmental and sustainability policies and procedures
Reports can be created to show how much waste is being produced by Dee, Atkinson & Harrison on a monthly or yearly period, these can then be compared alongside one another to show results on whether less or more waste is being produced and added to landfills. Similarly, this could be done with any items which are recycled, a record could be kept which could be available to the public which would allow them to see that we are environmentally friendly and that we try recycle as often and as much as possible.