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Firms Ignore Environmental Costs at Own Risk

Ignoring companies’ environmental impact is not acceptable — and renders sustainability impossible, according to a Guardian Sustainable Business blog post.

Requiring all corporations to be transparent about their financial, environmental and human health costs would be good first step, Joseph Zammit-Lucia writes. “We can then start an open discussion asking: if corporations do not wish to bear these costs they generate, how should our society deal with them? While these costs remain hidden and largely ignored, such a discussion is impossible.”

He points to the new UK greenhouse gas emissions reporting regulations as a sign of progress and says a good example of a company that has already started this process is Puma, with its environmental profit and loss statement.




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One thought on “Firms Ignore Environmental Costs at Own Risk

  1. Perhaps the key word here is “risk”. At this point most businesses do not see material risk in the environmental impacts of their production. Largely overseas, mostly third party owned, largely unregulated, largely unaudited, especially further back up the supply chain to raw material production and intermediate processing prior to assembly and packaging. Of course, regulation then forces greater risk thru non compliance and therefore attention to the matter, just like the new UK GHG emissions reporting regulations. Somehow the work has to become more compelling to business by driving more fundamental business value, otherwise they will wait for regulation in most cases.

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