Companies may implement standards and scans to investigate their environmental impact.
Impact on biodiversity
The International Finance Corporation, part of the World Bank Group, has created a biodiversity guide for the private sector: Guide to Biodiversity for the Private Sector. This online guide helps companies in emerging markets gain awareness about the impact of their business activities on biodiversity.
Process-based environmental care
International standards have been agreed in the area of environmental protection. The most important is the ISO 14001 Standard (in Dutch) on the establishment and certification of environmental management systems. ISO 14001 was developed to ensure that everyone in an organisation accepts responsibility for improving the environment. In addition, an environmental management system must satisfy the requirements of the Dutch Foundation for the Coordination of Certification of Environmental Management Systems (Stichting Coördinatie Certificatie Milieuzorgsystemen (SCCM) (in Dutch). ISO 14001 places the emphasis on continuous improvement. Evaluations of the causes of environmental impact constitute an important element in this regard.
Product-based environmental care
Product-based environmental care (PBEC) offers a good starting point for controlling and reducing the environmental impact of your products. PBEC takes the full life cycle of a product into account, from the use of raw materials to the recycling and disposal of waste. It helps you to look beyond the confines of your own production processes and your business.
Find out how you can reduce your energy consumption and investigate the local potential for alternative energy sources. The InfoMil website provides you with tips and information about saving energy (in Dutch). It may also help you to formulate a carbon neutral target for your processes or products.
Collaboration in the supply chain
Do your business activities give rise to environmental risks? If so, it is advisable to identify these risks and to endeavour to mitigate them using other links in your chain. Collaboration with your suppliers and customers will give you more leverage in this regard and will also make it easier for you to address your suppliers and customers about their responsibilities.
Limiting waste is the best form of waste management, but waste that you cannot avoid can often be recycled. For instance, waste from one company is sometimes an important raw material for another.
Expenditures on waste prevention and recycling are, in many cases, quickly recovered through increased income. Waste management may often be strongly improved if you combine waste flows with those of other companies in the area. This reduces the costs of both recycling and processing.