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The Green Trend in Business

The next time you order pizza, it might come in a package that separates into paper plates. That idea is a sign of a growing business trend of being more “green.” The government has entered the conservation arena in a way not seen since Teddy Roosevelt created the national park system and Franklin put Americans to work improving the infrastructure to make them available to the public. There is an ever-increasing amount of environmental legislation that affects the way your business functions.

That is good for the country and good for business because natural resources are limited. For example, an article in U.S. News and World Report states that small business owners are in favor of legislation to preserve clean water. The EPA has responded with a program called WOTUS, or Waters of the United States. The new legislation says that many restrictions which formerly applied only to navigable waterways also apply to the contributing streams or dependent waterways that touch them. “Finally,” says the article, “business owners recognize the practical value of clean water. Sixty-seven percent voiced concern about the harm that water pollution can inflict on their business, and 71 percent of them agreed that strong clean water protections contribute to a healthy economy and local jobs.”

USEPA Photo by Eric Vance

Business is going green. Like the pizza plate package, businesses are coming up with new ideas to be more environmentally friendly, and they are seeing their profits rise as a result. Dupont decided, some time ago, to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 2010. By 2007, the company found it had saved $2.2 billion through energy efficiency. Texaco has determined to be a carbon-free company by 2050. Even though it has been shown that increasing energy efficiency and decreasing pollutants can improve financial competitiveness and profitability, not all businesses are willing or able to determine how they can become “sustainable” corporations. That is where the government, both state and federal, has stepped in.

The greening of business means new and changing regulations. There are permits for emissions, hazardous waste, issues that involve locating a business where there are endangered species and many other environmental concerns. Besides the environmental issues out-of-doors, there are regulations governing things like air quality and safe drinking water inside factory walls. Keeping abreast of the legislation can mean hours spent poring over legal papers. It also means understanding how a law is interpreted.

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Business lawyers like Rick Schaden can be the best friend a company can have. They do all the things business lawyers have always done. They write and interpret contracts and assist in the transformation of a business to a partnership, they negotiate vendor contracts and help work through business disputes. They also can help businesses become greener by keeping track of the new laws and by making certain your business has all the necessary permits to function legally. Besides helping you understand your responsibilities in the new green business environment, they can ensure your rights are not being violated.

Becoming better stewards of the environment is a no-brainer. It is good for the environment and good for business. A good business lawyer can help you keep your company compliant with the legal requisites of greening while you watch it grow.

 

Article Submitted By Community Writer.

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