THE Kloof Conservancy is committed to the promotion of environmental awareness and conservation, biodiversity protection and the empowerment of communities to take action thereunto. Business make up a noteworthy portion of the community and are therefore key to this objective.According to Paolo Candotti chairman of the conservancy, business have been known to contribute to environmental pollution and degradation in the pursuit of profit.He said that the past few decades have seen a fundamental shift in this paradigm, and a growing number of businesses are seeking to mitigate environmental harm and improve their environmental performance.“The Kloof Conservancy commends these business and, in association with Carla Higgs, a corporate social responsibility consultant, offer this new series of monthly articles where we hope to educate business about environmentally responsible practices, and guide business on path to environmental responsibility.”Candotti said that in truth, every business, from a one-person proprietorship to the largest corporation, depends on and affects the environment in many ways.“For example, the raw materials that your business procures to manufacture its products were certainly derived from natural resources. Indeed, most plastics are derived from petrochemical feedstock, which in turn originates from oil, natural gas or coal. The electricity that powers your business operations is derived from coal. “What’s more are the direct impacts of your business on the environmental through the generation of waste, handling of hazardous materials, consumption of water, and air emission to mention a few.“All of these elements mean that your business is exposed to different degrees and types of environmental risk. The consequence may include damage to your businesses reputation or the cost of clean-up and fines. “Many businesses are in the supply chain of JSE-listed and multinational companies who set specific environmental requirements for all the businesses in their supply and value chains. Such business that contravene, or are unaware of these risks will certainly put their relationship with such clients in jeopardy.”He urged the community to ensure that one’s business identifies potential environmental risks. “To do this, take the environment into considerations in your businesses risk management process. Where there is uncertainty, acquire the assistance of an environmental professional.”For more information contact, email@example.com - Supplied.