When it comes to the environment, following the right ethics guidelines helps your brand become more popular and respectable among consumers. With more people interested in helping the environment, they also want to buy from brands that care as well.
Implementing new guidelines isn’t always easy. That’s why you need policies in place for reporting violations and thorough training to make these changes permanent in your company.
1. Create Sustainable Packaging
This is one of the easiest environmentally-friendly things for consumers to identify. Plus, if you’re using recycled packaging, that can be printed on the package too. Considering 88% of consumers want you to help them make a difference, this is an easy way to deliver.
However, don’t print that your packaging comes from recycled materials or is sustainable if it actually isn’t. While it’s for marketing, eventually someone will find out and report it.
2. Handle Pollution
This is where many ethics guidelines fall apart. Businesses want to dispose of waste in the cheapest and easiest ways possible. However, that often means dumping hazardous materials in lakes, streams, landfills and even surrounding land areas. Plus, certain processes may create far more pollution than others.
While you might switch to sustainable packaging to say you’re an environmentally-friendly company, secretly dumping waste or polluting through outdated processes hurts the environment just as much if not more. Prevent this by first ensuring guidelines and processes are in place to provide an alternative to excess pollution. Then, train employees on how to report any issues they find.
3. Follow Environmental Regulations
One of the biggest environment-related ethics issues facing businesses are environmental regulations. Businesses often see the necessary training and upgrades as too expensive. This results in bribes, fraud, forcing employees to lie and a variety of other issues.
Regulations aren’t in place to punish businesses. Instead, they’re in place to help preserve the environment and help businesses become more sustainable. As part of your ethics guidelines, inform employees about the regulations and why they’re important. Then, train them on how to use your company’s ethics hotline to report any violations so you can fix the problem before you’re hit with major fines.
4. Create Employee Ethics Guidelines
An easy way for businesses to be more green is simply to implement employee ethics guidelines. For instance, your company may provide a bonus for employees who can prove they’re carpooling. Or, set up a recycling program for each department.
Help employees cut back on waste by training them on new digital systems. Also, encourage employees to come forward with ideas for ways your company can be more environmentally-friendly. Make protecting an environment part of your code of conduct. Even if it just means employees have to recycle and turn off lights and electronics when they’re not in use.
5. Establish Better Supply Chain Guidelines
While your supply chain might not seem like part of your ethics guidelines, you can’t be an environmentally ethical company when your suppliers aren’t doing anything to help the environment. Train your employees on how to pick the right suppliers and vendors to match your company’s values. Encourage employees to report anyone who is trying to cut corners, such as working with a cheaper supplier that uses questionable processes in order to get promoted.
Today’s environment needs the support of businesses to make it better in the future. Ethics guidelines are a critical part of the process.