The Industrial Revolution paved the way for humans to enter into a new era. Rapidly developed technologies and advanced scientific innovations brought the manufacturing age. Along with all this development, came threats to the environment in the form of global warming and different kinds of pollution. These threats are nothing but the side-effects of running a business.

Decades ago, the side-effects of these developments were limited, but with the evolution of industries, they increased massively. Nowadays, a lot of people know that their lifestyle habits impact the environment negatively and thus take measures to prevent or reverse the harm caused to the environment. Similarly, many businesses know the way they are operating is harmful to the environment, yet very few of them consider the environmental aspects of their operations.

Not every business is aware that from the time the business is formulated on paper, to selling their eco friendly lifestyle products or services to their first customers/clients, almost every activity of their business has already impacted the environment. Unfortunately, most businesses that are aware of this fact,  do not change their actions and just continue harming the environment. This article is going to introduce you to 3 side-effects on the environment when businesses do not consider the environment. 

1. Global Warming

Global Warming increases the earth’s average temperature and further deteriorates the balance between weather and the ecosystems. Today, different activities such as construction, manufacturing, transportation, etc. carried out by businesses, surge the atmospheric CO2 and other greenhouse gases. These practices are the primary causes of global warming which is responsible for disturbed ecosystems, melting ice, permafrost in polar regions, increased sea levels, increased frequency of heatwaves, droughts, and natural disasters like storms, hurricanes, wildfires and floods, among others.

In order to decrease Global Warming and its impact, businesses can take steps to enhance energy efficiency, shift to renewable sources of power, regulate the way they dispose of waste, use recycled office supplies, and increase their involvement in eco-friendly activities.

2. Air Pollution

Air pollution is another side-effect caused by businesses not considering the environmental impact of their activities. When businesses are not run efficiently, their operations such as manufacturing, vehicle repairing, farming, welding, mining, printing, transporting, and others, emit harmful fumes, greenhouse gases, and dust in the air causing air pollution. Air pollution by businesses also depletes the ozone layer and causes acid rain which further damages buildings, land, fresh water, sea water, plants, and wildlife. 

A business can take several steps to control air pollution. For example, businesses involved in manufacturing should monitor emissions caused by the burning of fuels in furnaces and act accordingly. Instead of traditional vehicles running on fossil fuels, businesses can shift to electric ones. Moreover, instead of covering all the electricity needs through grid electricity, it is better to shift some of the load to the electricity generated by the sun through solar products. 

3. Water Pollution

One of the biggest side-effects when businesses do not consider the environment is water pollution. Businesses involved in the production of goods often require a large amount of water to carry out their work. During different processes, this water comes in contact with harmful chemicals, heavy metals, radioactive waste, and sometimes with organic sludge. When it comes to dumping used water, businesses prefer rivers and oceans. This severely harms the eco-system, renders various groundwater resources useless, and when this water is used in irrigation, the quality of produced food gets affected. 

Today, businesses can do a lot of things to prevent water pollution. Governments all over the world have introduced different policies to control water pollution, and businesses can follow such policies made by the government agencies in their regions. All operations of a business should be carried out only after proper planning of waste management. Also, the use of the latest technology can help businesses to significantly control water pollution.

Businesses that affect the environment are a big concern all over the world. Various measures have been taken to permanently solve this problem, but the desired results cannot be achieved until there is active participation from every business. The availability of better and advanced technology is quite helpful in controlling the environmental impact of business activities. However, the environmental impact of business activities is still rampant and we are still several years away from these effects being kept under control, especially if businesses do not take any responsibility. 

Emmanuel van der Meulen