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Environmental Strategy – are businesses giving it enough focus?

With the recent floods and storms impacting the West Midlands, there's never been a greater opportunity for business to invest in its environmental strategy.



Environmental Strategy – are businesses giving it enough focus?

With the recent floods and storms impacting the West Midlands, there's never been a greater opportunity for business to invest in its environmental strategy.

In recent years, the world has witnessed unprecedented changes in climate and environmental conditions, posing significant challenges to businesses across various industries and their environmental strategy. The West Midlands, known for its growing business community and strong manufacturing base, is not immune to these transformations, with an unprecedented number of storms and floods affecting activity.

In this blog piece, with the help of Birmingham City University’s economist Dr Steve McCabe, we ask the question – are businesses in the West Midlands focusing enough on environmental strategy, and look into the importance and benefits associated with developing this.

Environmental Factors Affecting Business Strategy

The West Midlands, as a result of climate change is experiencing shifts in climate patterns. This is leading to extreme weather events, such as an increase in flood frequency which can severely impact the local and global business environment.

On a local level, flooding can impact workplace efficiency – stopping employees reaching or leaving the workplace, trade and transport, and access to renewable goods in your supply chain. Industries reliant on natural resources, such as manufacturing and agriculture are particularly susceptible.

While national and local governments are looking to make changes to combat climate change, it’s essential that businesses adapt to changes themselves to remain competitive and compliant.

The Benefits of Investing in Your Environmental and Sustainability Strategy

It’s important to stress that while investing in your environmental and sustainability strategy isn’t a walk in the park, costing time and money it can’t be avoided.

Dr Steve McCabe states;

‘Improvement will require additional effort and expenditure, yet this must be measured against the cost of doing nothing.

As we’re experiencing, storms and unseasonal weather means disruption to everyone. This will increase costs to all of society. It’s worth stressing that following the example of Japanese firms which implemented total quality management, all businesses examining existing processes identified opportunities for greater efficiency in production. Crucially, such businesses enjoyed enhanced customer satisfaction which is possible when preparing for environmental challenges.’

Additional benefits to investing in your environmental and sustainable strategy include:

  • Enhanced Reputation: Businesses with a strong environmental commitment enjoy a more positive public image. This can appeal not only to consumers but investors and future business partners.
  • Risk Mitigation: Investing in environmental strategy helps identify and reduce future risks, ensuring greater stability.
  • Greater Access to Funding: By investing in your own sustainability, West Midlands businesses will be able to attract a wider customer based and access to more funding and investment opportunities.
  • Employee Engagement and Retention: Employees are seeking workplaces that align with their values – a commitment to sustainability being a key area that can support a positive workplace culture.

Are Environmental Strategies in Business Effective?

Dr Steve McCabe argues businesses investing heavily in these areas are already seeing the benefits.

Many leading businesses are already enjoying the benefits of their efforts to improve their environmental approach. For instance, using clean, ‘green’ energy, particularly when generated through renewable sources, can reduce bills. Moreover, an audit of energy consumption will assist in identifying ways to avoid wastage. This proved very effective during the energy crisis of the 1970s.’

So, are businesses doing enough?

Whether businesses are doing enough about it, is debatable but what is evident is businesses in the West Midlands must recognise the changing environmental landscape and its impact on their operations. Updating and investing in environmental strategies is not only a legal requirement but also a strategic move that can lead to numerous benefits, from cost saving to risk mitigation. What is also evident is, as the risk to climate change gets consistently worst the importance of embracing environmental sustainability is getting more and more pronounced.

Interested in learning more about sustainability in business? Find out more about our sustainability bootcamps.



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