what is environmental Accounting?
people work better when?
Sustainable businesses are the theme of 21st Century we are saying environmental awareness is crucial if businesses are to succeed in long term.
What is Environmental Accounting?
Results have shown that companies considered to have good social, environmental and governance policies have outperformed the world index of stocks by 25%. Indeed, it has been found that 72% of companies that adopt sustainable policies regularly outperform their industry peers.
What this suggests is that if sustainable practices are a proven way to improve business operations they should be strongly considered - and since the role of a manager is to serve customers perhaps the best way to implement sustainability is through service.
Serving external customers (paying customers) involves finding out what they want - as well as how, when, and where they want it - and then moving heaven and earth to provide it.
Serving internal customers (employees, colleagues, suppliers, contractors, shareholders and other stakeholders) includes finding good people, educating (training) them, and giving them what they need so that they know the needs of the business, the business
knows their requirements, and the two can serve each other.
Any other decision on the part of the manager, other implementing sustainability through customer service (internal and external), merely serves the manager. For example, if an employee approaches a manager with a sustainable cost-saving idea and the manager says ‘no’, the manager is probably serving his or her ego (few words show that a manager has superiority over a subordinate than the word ‘no’).
If the manager says ‘no’ because he or she is not sure if the idea will work, insecurity is perhaps to blame (a manager’s job is to find out how or if new ideas will work). If the manager says ‘no’ because implementing the idea will involve additional work (as new practices often do in their initial stages), the manager is probably serving his or her incompetence. Lastly, if the manager says ‘no’ because he or she is just being stubborn, or, the idea will allow someone else to shine, the manager’s greed (or selfishness) is most probably being served.
A common complaint heard from employees and managers in many organisations is that they don’t know the aims of the company in which they work and they have never been taught their employer’s values and priorities (if they have any) - a situation that usually boils down to a lack of communication.
Poor communication results in employees not performing to the utmost of their ability and the organisation as a whole not pulling in one direction. Simply put, people work better when:
(1) they know exactly what it is they’re supposed to be doing,
(2) they’ve been told (and have accepted) what is expected of them, and,
(3) they’re provided with regular real-time feedback.
Four steps to achieving optimal sustainability objectives in any business or organisation:
1. Create a vision,
2. Decide on a mission,
3. Break the mission statement down into achievable objectives,
4. Formulate strategies to achieve objectives
1. Create a Vision
Organisations have discovered through research and close client relationships that a commitment to sustainability not only reduces waste, pollutants, and costs, it also promotes responsibility and respect - attributes that attract the attention of customers and help create an inspiring vision for employees to fulfill.
For example, in the US, the Bradley Corporation, a manufacturer of commercial washroom fixtures, proclaimed its vision which led to its products becoming ‘environmental solutions instead of environmental problems’.
2. Decide on a Mission
Mission statements individualise a business by defining its purpose and uniqueness.
For example, ST Microelectronics pledged to obtain a forty-fold increase in production and become
virtually waste-free (in terms of greenhouse gas emissions) by 2010. Figuring out how to do this took the company from being the 12th-largest microchip manufacturer in the world to the 6th - while saving a billion dollars in the process.
3. Break the Mission Statement Down into Achievable Objectives
Objectives are blueprints for achieving a mission that incorporate concepts of time and measurement, address financial and non-financial issues and are more concrete and action-oriented.
For example, Interface, a sustainable carpet manufacturer, incentivised its employees by setting objectives and then asking everyone how to achieve them. Some of the objectives were:
• Drive waste out of the company completely,
• Emit only benign emissions,
• Only use renewable energy in production processes
4. Formulate Strategies to Achieve Objectives
The final stage of the objective process is to identify short-term goals for unit, departmental, or individual use, along with timelines to avoid procrastination as well as forms of measurement to ensure that progress is being made.
Methods for achievement can include providing better employee training, replacing raw materials with recyclable materials, investing in clean energy, replacing outdated equipment and machinery with efficient alternatives, redesigning products and so on. Tapping into the workforce is essential because involving employees yields ideas and solutions and builds motivation and commitment.
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