Green Business with Kloof Conservancy

2016-09-27 06:00

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THE Kloof Conversancy encourages businesses to become environmentally responsible, and in association with Carla Higgs - a corporate social responsibility consultant, offers help and guides businesses on a path to environmental responsibility.

According to Paolo Candotti from the conservancy, in order to adopt environmental responsibility, businesses need to understand how they impact on the environment.

“When it comes to business environmental management, it is common practice to follow the guidance laid out by the ISO 14001 Standard. ISO 14001 addresses various aspects of environmental management providing practical tools for companies looking to identify and control their environmental impact and constantly improve their environmental performance.

“As a starting point for understanding how your business may be impacting on the environment, ISO 14001 recommends that companies should initially establish their position with regard to the environment by means of a review. The primary aim of the review should be to consider all the environmental aspects of your business, and the identification of environmental aspects an impacts under normal operating conditions,” he said.

Paolo said that this will entail an assessment of how activities affect the environment. “The International Standard suggests that assessment of how activities affect the environment should include emissions to air; releases to water; releases to land; use of raw materials and natural resources; use of energy; and energy emitted e.g. heat and vibration.

“For each activity, generate a list of environmental aspects. A simple example of an environmental aspect may be electricity consumption. Environmental impacts are the result of environmental aspects, and are the changes to the environment that occur because of that activity. For example, the environmental impacts that result from electricity consumption are for example, contribution to global climate change and air pollution. Continue with this exercise until you have assessed each area of your business, and have developed a matrix of environmental aspects and impacts.

“For the purpose of understanding and identifying the environmental aspects of your businesses activities, processes, products and services a good starting point is the development of a schematic diagram that identifies your businesses operational areas, as well as the respective inputs and outputs of operations. Where there is uncertainty, acquire the assistance of an environmental professional,” he concluded.

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