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Environment resposibility – a must for businesses

Under the Environmental Responsibility of the Corporates, it is expected to operate in a
manner that protects the environment. Going beyond business activities and taking careof
the environment can bring business benefits. Now corporate companies have realised that
business activity in an environmentally responsible way is not only a legal duty but also a
responsibility. Over the past few years, even shareholders increasingly require corporate
organisations to become more environmentally aware and responsible. CSR activities of
corporate organisations affect their bottom line and the long-term success of their business.
The environmental aspect of Corporate Social Responsibility has been debated over the
past few decades and it’s a matter of every business house. Governments too on their part
have maintained the principle of environmental responsibility for ensuring environmental
conservation and management as well.

A concept of “earth jurisprudence” was introduced, which was a theory underlying the law’s
ability to protect the environment to regulate businesses that pollute. This could be defined
as a much older concept, dating back in 1600 during the creation of British East India
Company. Although, since the 1970s awareness of this environmental crisis has grown, due
to the prominence given to major environmental disasters like Sahelian droughts of the
1970s and 1980s. All this drew attention to the fact that the human ecosystem is threatened
by crucial imbalances in productivity and in the distribution of goods and services. The
accelerating progress did not benefit the environment and affected environmental
stewardship.

In the hassles and race towards success, businesses, and progress we tend to overlook the
responsibility one holds towards the environment. The responsibility towards our
environmental responsibilities is not supposed to be upheld by those working for or in the
interest of environmental conservation but also each and every one of us no matter what our
background or field of work is. There is a crucial part every business has to play in taking
care of the environment as a business not only provides products/services to the consumers,
jobs to a lot of people, and much more.

Why it matters

We cannot proceed further by constantly using and abusing our world without regard to its
sustainability. There is an immediate requirement to take environmental responsibility very
seriously within every type of business and sustain our environment for future generations.
Businesses need to recognise that they have a responsibility to the environment beyond

legal and regulatory requirements. We would expect them to also encourage customers,
suppliers and other shareholders to do the same.

Business Organizations Should Consider these Environmental Points

Business organisations should store waste safely and securely, and ensure it is treated
appropriately, to understand that it is collected by an authorised body such as your local
authority or a licensed rubbish removal contractor. You can also manage waste for recycling
by separating paper, plastic, metals and glass and for those organisations that are in the
food businesses they need to separate food waste for recycling. Be sure that your business
activities do not cause a statutory nuisance like producing smoke, noise, gases, odour,
fumes, accumulating rubbish or light pollution which could affect someone’s health. If your
business activities pose an imminent threat to the environment, then notify the relevant
enforcing body to take steps to prevent the damage and if your activities also cause actual
environmental damage then you must take a remedial action to repair the damage.

Some of the general practices for environmental & occupational health, safety at workplace –
practised and followed in india are as listed below and this majorly governs the compliance
various industries need to adhere to –

  • Chemical Accidents (Emergency Planning, Preparedness, and Response) Rules
  • Batteries (Management & Handling) Rules, 2001
  • Manufacture, Storage, and Import of Hazardous Chemicals (Amendment) Rules
  • The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986
  • The Ozone Depleting Substances (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000
  • Environment (Siting for Industrial Projects) Rules, 1999
  • The Environment (Protection) Rules, 1986
  • The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981, amended 1987
  • The Water (Prevention and Control) Act
  • Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Rules, 1975
  • Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess Rules, 1978
  • E-Waste (Management ) Rules, 2016
  • Hazardous and Other Wastes (Management and Transboundary Movement) Rules,2016
  • The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) (Union Territories) Rules, 1983
  • Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess (Amendment) Act, 2003
  • Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016
  • Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016
  • Atomic Energy (Safe Disposal of Radioactive Wastes) Rules, 1987
  • The Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) (Amendment) Rules, 2010
  • Factories Act, 1948
  • Atomic Energy (Radiation Protection) Rules, 2004
  • The Dangerous Machines (Regulation) Act, 1983
  • Model Rules under the Factories Act, 1948
  • Model Rules Part-II – Requirements in Respect of Dangerous Processes and Operations
  • The Child Labour (Prohibition And Regulation) Act, 1986
  • Gas Cylinder Rules
  • Static and Mobile Pressure Vessels (Unfired) Rules
  • Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition, and Redressal) Act
  • Model Rules under the Factories Act, 1948
  • Indian Boilers Act, 1923.

Conservation and Biodiversity to be protected by the business

The increasing human activities cause the loss of biodiversity in the world. All types of organisations operating near these types of the area should be aware, and take responsibilities for conservation and protecting biodiversity. This not only applies to land-based industries such as farming and forestry but also to all factories, industries, offices and other business activities based on or near biodiversity areas.

Organisations need to realise that putting in place environmental responsibilities can go a long way in helping operational costs. In other words, using energy-efficient and responsible appliances can also help a business save costs. This is why most businesses are aggressively converting to solar air conditioning to help them not only cut down on costs but also to create a sense of responsibility towards the environment. Given the kind of energy requirements businesses have, this is a small, yet significant step in the right direction. Environment concern and conservation is not only a responsibility but also the duty of every individual on this planet. This means that not only these organisations but also us have a moral duty towards our environment because in some way or the other we are harming our surroundings and the environment. 

Our environment has not only endowed us with fresh air, water, food, minerals, resources, etc, so let’s make it better or reverse the damages caused that every effort is completely worth it.

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Sudha

A result driven skilled finance professional, having completed Masters in Business administration with 3+ years of experience having successfully advised multinational corporations and SME businesses in the areas of statutory compliances, due diligence, indirect taxation, HR processes and compliance risk management. A young mind with the energy to resolve cumbersome processes in the smooth functioning of the organisation and the urge to implement a complete solution to accelerate performance sums what keeps Sudha going.

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