Business owners today have an obligation to take steps not to do damage to the environment. This does not mean simply abiding by environmental laws. Environmental laws are the bare minimum that a business owner has an obligation to follow, as not following environmental laws is illegal. It makes little sense to believe that a business should simply do the bare minimum. A business owner has the duty to take steps that are responsible above and beyond what the environmental law requires to promote the environment. And there are a number of interest groups that may target companies that simply do the bar minimum in terms of environmental law because although it is legal to simply follow the law it is considered to be socially irresponsible to do so.
It is important for businesses to know what the environmental laws. This holds true even if a company is not impacted by the four environmental laws identified in the readings because a company may wish to expand into new areas of business in order to remain competitive. In addition, a company may have suppliers who have an obligation to follow environmental laws as well. Furthermore, it is important for companies to ensure that they are not affiliated with companies that violate environmental law.
Companies can benefit from making customers aware of environmental law and demonstrating that they are doing more than these laws require because this encourages customers to view the company as a community friendly company. “Today, educated customers know true environmental responsibility when they see it” (Lemkin, 2011). And many customers will be more likely to frequent businesses that are environmentally friendly and responsible. To cater to these type of consumers, it is important for companies to put out a message that tells the customer what the environmental law is and what steps the companies is taking to ensure that it abides by this law.
- Lemkin, Jason. “How Environmental Awareness Builds Business.” Environmental Leader. 22 November 2011. Web. 28 February 2015.