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Reduce harm to the environment
An important part of sustainability planning is determining the sustainability parameters that will have the most critical impact on your business in the future. Some are common to all businesses while others are variable depending on the type of business, and the needs and desires of its stakeholders. Once these are determined, reducing harm to the environment is often a consequence from actions to reduce energy or material intensity to save money. As leadership and employees of an organization become more engaged in running a sustainable business they often develop a much stronger understanding of the interconnectedness of their products and business with their customers, community and the natural environment in which these products were derived from, exist in and will return to at some point in their life cycle. Some actions taken by organizations to reduce direct harm to the environment have included:

  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions
  • Reducing water consumption
  • Reducing the use of agricultural products which have used high levels of biocides and synthetic fertilizers
  • Conserving land and endangered species
  • Restoring contaminated sites
  • Rehabilitating forests and watersheds
  • Changing fishing practices
  • Changing farming practices
  • Preserving seed sources
  • Restoring rivers and lakes

Many businesses choose to take these actions as they know that they are integral to protecting the world that we live, work and play in and are important to all stakeholders and their future generations. Some companies have gone so far as to map out their impact on the environment and society by product to better understand how they can minimize their footprint.

Need more inspiration? Checkout:Patagonia footprint stories