The days when firms could get away with ignoring environmental issues are over. Now, companies that fail to take their responsibilities seriously when it comes to protecting the planet can face a whole host of problems. The volume of environmental regulations in place has increased significantly over recent years, meaning that businesses in all sectors, from retailers to manufacturers, now have to adhere to strict standards. Your precise responsibilities will depend on the sector your enterprise operates in and your location. However, here are a few basics that all firms must get to grips with.
As part of an overall review of your firm’s environmental impact, you must conduct a risk assessment. This should identify any dangers your business poses and any control measures you can put in place to mitigate these hazards. For example, if you deal with potentially harmful substances, you may need to ensure you have spill control provisions in place. It is now easy to source these solutions from specialist suppliers like Lubetech.
Bear in mind that if your premises are sited near to designated protected areas, you may face restrictions on your activities. If you’re not sure whether or not this applies to you, get in touch with your local authority.
If your activities produce significant air pollution or you burn waste, you must make sure you don’t create emissions such as smells, dust or noise that may cause a nuisance to your neighbours.
Also, you will need consent from your water company if you wish to discharge any trade effluent into their sewers. In addition, you will require authorisation from your environmental regulator before discharging any trade effluent into surface waters or groundwater.
Your company has an obligation to keep waste to a minimum too. As part of this, you will need to use packaging sparingly and you must choose packaging that meets all the relevant environmental standards. You may also be required to meet specific recycling and recovery targets, and you are expected to store and dispose of any waste properly.
Note that there are additional controls on certain types of waste, including hazardous materials.
Make sure you’re in the know
Having a broad understanding of what you’re expected to do in order to meet your environmental responsibilities is one thing. However, it’s vital that you also have much more detailed knowledge concerning your business’ obligations. If you’re in any doubt about the rules governing your company, get in touch with the relevant industry bodies and regulators to find out more.
This can help you to stay on the right side of the law and to avoid potentially costly and damaging legal action. By following the rules, you can also enjoy a clear conscience that you’re doing your bit to protect the environment.