How to Create a Culture of Environmental Responsibility


How to Create a Culture of Environmental Responsibility

As global awareness increases about the environmental impact of business operations, consumer and corporate expectations are changing. Today, businesses, including language service providers (LSPs), are evaluated based on their services and environmental responsibility. 

Business operations that produce massive amounts of carbon emissions are some of the biggest contributors to climate change. With significant changes from all businesses, limiting rising temperatures’ impact on the environment will be possible.

In the business world, environmental responsibility can be defined as a company’s ethical obligation to:

  • Avoid pollution
  • Protect natural resources
  • Avoid actions that harm the environment

Across industries, businesses already take environmental responsibility by complying with legislation requiring safe waste storage, limiting pollution, controlling emissions, regulating the use and storage of hazardous chemicals, etc. However, a culture of environmental responsibility requires more than following minimum obligations. It requires an organization to incorporate sustainable practices into the core of its business operations for the greater good of protecting the environment.

Creating a sustainable business culture requires substantial planning and in-depth insight into every part of your business operations. The following strategies provide a roadmap to help you understand and implement environmental responsibility in your business.

Invest in Employee Education and Engagement

Seventy-one percent of job seekers want to work for environmentally friendly employers. However, employees often need insight into how the business’s operations contribute to climate change. 

By providing employees with training and education about environmental issues and the need to contribute to sustainability efforts within the organization, you give them the insight they need to participate. Encouraging employees to use their education to contribute to ongoing improvements increases their responsibility and clarifies each individual’s role in the company’s commitment to sustainability. Establish employee-led green teams to develop and implement sustainable practices within teams or departments to encourage engagement and environmental awareness.

Improve the Accuracy of Measuring Carbon Emissions

Measuring sustainability performance is the only way to understand your business’s impact on the environment and how your efforts drive change. Environmental impact can be challenging to quantify, making identifying key performance indicators critical to success. An accurate picture of your carbon footprint considers emissions across the entire value chain. Consider sources like:

  • Sourcing
  • Logistics
  • Manufacturing processes
  • Use of sold products
  • End-of-life disposal

Data you gather about your company’s emissions can be used to devise solutions and as a benchmark to measure change. 

While data tracking provides your company with essential information, tracking alone doesn’t spread the information to consumers. An estimated 69% of consumers don’t believe companies accurately and honestly report on sustainability goals and metrics. Also, 40% aren’t comfortable purchasing products from companies that do not actively track sustainability goals. 

It’s essential to regularly report progress in meeting ESG goals and environmental initiatives to all stakeholders.

Set Clear ESG Goals

Environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) goals are necessary for modern business. These show all potential stakeholders how you contribute to the world at large. To establish environmental initiatives, you must set clear and achievable goals that define a course of action. 

Environmental goals like reducing carbon emissions or implementing sustainable sourcing practices should be clearly defined with measurable tasks and data to clarify the next steps. When establishing these goals, it’s essential to consider the KPIs you’ll use to measure data so you can continually track and report progress. 

Adopt Green Energy Practices

About 20% of all US electricity comes from renewable energy sources. 60% is still derived from fossil fuels like coal, petroleum, and natural gas. Businesses can reduce their dependence on fossil fuels by harnessing clean energy from wind, solar, hydropower, and geothermic sources. Using sustainable materials and minimizing waste also contribute to green energy practices. 

Adopting green energy practices requires changes to organizational practices. Depending on your industry, these can include actions like:

  • Reducing single-use plastics
  • Partnering with sustainable suppliers
  • Reducing paper usage
  • Using energy-efficient supplies
  • Conserving water

First, assess your company’s energy use and research ways to reduce energy consumption and heat generation.

Encourage Remote Work and Sustainable Travel

Digital connectivity allows companies to reduce the environmental impact of business travel. By encouraging remote work arrangements, employers enable employees to eliminate long work commutes and reduce individual energy consumption related to work travel. 

Reducing the number of individuals in the workplace decreases energy consumption within work buildings and enables companies to lower their carbon footprint. Adding virtual communications and business meeting equipment to your remote workforce further reduces business travel and carbon emissions related to business travel. When employees must come to the office, employers can encourage the use of public transport by providing employees with transit passes or discounts on travel. 

When adopting remote work arrangements, you can further promote sustainability by investing in energy-efficient devices and appliances and providing employees with training on energy-saving processes when working from home. You can also adopt digital document management processes to reduce paper usage and waste. 

Foster a Culture of Environmental Responsibility

A culture of sustainability is supported by actions and processes that permeate every part of your organizational operations. The process begins with educating stakeholders, including employees, about the importance of sustainability and how each individual’s role contributes to a larger goal. When company leaders actively seek out and participate in sustainability initiatives, they set an example that employees can follow. 

The decision to use sustainable materials, renewable energy, and waste-reducing processes reflects a commitment to the environment that employees can naturally adopt. You can extend your efforts further by partnering with suppliers who prioritize sustainability and follow ethical practices. Businesses supporting each other’s sustainability efforts can cause a ripple effect that can transform entire industries. 

How Vistatec Is Meeting Environmental Goals

Here at Vistatec, we’re committed to meeting sustainability goals to limit the impact of climate change and build a better global environment. As an international company, we’re acutely aware of how the environmental crisis and climate change affect the world. We continuously strive to foster a culture of environmental responsibility in our organization.

In December 2023, the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) approved our near-term science-based emissions reduction target. Our goals include a commitment to a near-term 1.5-degree target to reduce scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 42% by 2030 from a 2021 base year and to measure and reduce scope 3 emissions. 

We’re happy to report our sustainability efforts are rapidly yielding progress. Our headquarters runs on 100% green electricity, and we’ve changed our office infrastructure to ensure efficient electricity usage. You can read our SBTi press release to learn more about our sustainability efforts and progress toward reaching our goals.