More than 50 years after its independence, Africa is still lagging behind many parts of the world in terms of water, electricity and waste management.
In many countries, authorities are constantly reminding people and businesses to use water and power sparingly, and strive to manage their waste effectively.
A South Africa-based expert says this week that how a business manages the use of water and energy has a real impact on the environment, as well as their bottom line.
Jeremy Lang, regional general manager at Business Partners Limited (BPL), has called on business owners to re-evaluate their business processes and the extent to which they are environmentally sustainable.
“This is an area that can no longer be ignored by local businesses – regardless of their size. Not only is the environment suffering as a result of unsustainable practices, but other businesses are being impacted as water restrictions are enforced by municipalities across the country,” Lang explained.
“This can be a real risk to a business that may use water as a resource in their daily operations, such as manufacturing. Such tighter rules around water usage can thereby add pressures on cash flow if not managed correctly.”
Business owners are faced with daily challenges ranging from supply issues to an unstable currency and fluctuating market conditions. However, he says unlike traditional challenges, environmental risks tend to be outside of a business’ control.
To avoid a business’ operational challenges being compounded by environmental risks, Lang says careful consideration to a business’ commitment to sustainability needs to be addressed.
“This requires investment into sustainable practices today that both safeguard the environment and prepare the business for the future.
“A large misconception is that a business may be too small to implement initiatives, or that the cost may outweigh the benefits. However, if implemented correctly, sustainable practices can have a real impact on a business’ bottom line.”
(with the assistance of BPL)