PROVING ENVIRONMENTAL PERFORMANCE
It’s not just important for companies to state their policies, beliefs and goals when it comes to environmental performance, it’s necessary that they prove it. Environmental regulatory compliance audits have become big business for the traditional audit companies, and for targeted companies, backing up policy claims with performance results is becoming an economic imperative as well as an ethical endeavour. The auditing leader Deloitte even pairs the two in one policy headline for their Irish operations: Code of Ethics and Environmental Policy.
Customers, business relations and corporate stakeholders demand high ethical standards of companies, and businesses are expected to be able to back up their claims with (their) environmental compliance software. All these initiatives, actions and reports do beg the question: are organisations truly concerned about ethics and the environment, or are they only measuring and reporting because they have to, or to protect their reputation in the marketplace?
The best response may be another question: does the motivation matter if the end result is positive for the environment?
Consumer awareness will continue to rise, and investor concern about reputation and sustainability will continue to influence where they invest their resources. It appears that socially responsible environmental compliance performance and the statistics to back it up are required—and the intention behind it doesn’t matter as much. What it comes down to, it seems, is the old truth: actions speak louder than words.