What Is Corporate Environmental Responsibility?

Understanding the concept of corporate environmental ethics and how it helps reduce companies’ environmental impacts

The field of corporate environmental ethics aims to make humans more aware of the impacts our companies and actions have on our carbon footprints and the environment as a whole. 

Nowadays, customers look at a company as a whole, rather than just the products they provide. Consumers may value a company’s adherence to environmental ethics such as a lack of animal testing, following organic standards, or using packaging that can be recycled to help maintain a healthy planet for generations to come.

In this article, we will look at the importance of Corporate Environmental Responsibility (CER), sometimes known as corporate environmental ethics, and how we can make a change for the better. 

building and leaves - corporate environmental ethics

What Is Corporate Environmental Responsibility?

Corporate environmental responsibility is the duty of a company to operate in a way that protects the environment. Many investors evaluate CER, a company’s adherence to corporate environmental ethics, before they invest any money into the business. 

Environmental responsibility is making sure you’re following a set of environmental ethics and guidelines that reduce your company’s environmental impacts.

Corporate environmental responsibility focuses on using resources wisely. Often, CER requires business leaders to to invest more time into their business in order to lower environmental impacts while also saving costs. Taking small actions like turning lights off in offices that are not in use or asking employees to bring their own coffee mugs to the office are small steps that reduce your environmental impact, and are part of CER. However, much of CER focuses on larger steps companies can take to reduce carbon emissions and pollution across the supply chain.

Embracing corporate environmental ethics will not only help you save the environment but will also show investors that you take responsibility for your actions when it comes to preserving the environment for years to come. 

Why Is Corporate Environmental Responsibility So Important?

In corporate environmental responsibility, the goal is to make companies more aware of their environmental impact and counteract their environmental impacts. Reducing pollution and lowering corporate carbon footprints are some of the main goals that align with corporate environmental ethics.

By ensuring the environmental responsibility of your business, you teach future generations that successful businesses can be built without causing environmental damage. Reducing business’ environmental impacts is also a crucial part of fighting climate change and ensuring a livable environment in the future.

Benefits of Corporate Environmental Responsibility 

Not only is it important for you to be aware of the environment, but there are also benefits for your business as well. 

Firstly, CER can prove to be more profitable for companies. As consumers become more aware of sustainability and supporting environmentally friendly companies, they are more likely to choose companies that adhere to strong corporate environmental ethics.

You will also save money by changing some old habits that cause your carbon footprint to go up such as leaving lights on for no reason or using large amounts of water. Reducing energy usage not only lessens your impact on the environment, but it also lowers your own costs.

Finally, climate change’s impacts will make it much more difficult for businesses to function. We all have a vested interest in reducing our contribution to climate change so that our businesses (and all other aspects of our lives) can continue to thrive.

Who Should Be Responsible For Protecting The Environment?

While some government agencies are tasked with enforcing environmental responsibility ultimately we all live on the same planet and use natural resources that help our businesses grow, put food on our tables, and allow us to buy everything that we want and need. We will all be impacted by the negative affects of climate change, and it is particularly important for large contributors to global warming take stock of the current environmental situation.

Some environmental ethical philosophies argue that it is our moral responsibility to ensure the continuation of life on earth. Humans use their logic to make decisions that can either harm or protect the environment. End of the day, we all need to be responsible for our own piece of the environment. All of us, but perhaps especially business-owners, must do our part to preserve the environment for generations to come.

Principles of Corporate Environmental Responsibility

Sustainable development 

By respecting the environment, you can make conscientious use of natural resources. Sustainable development encompasses the idea that a business can grow, while doing so in a way that can continue without destroying the environment.

Sustainable development will help ensure that your products and business will be able to develop for the foreseeable future. Additionally, as mentioned previously, consumers tend to trust a business more if they are environmentally conscious. 

Ensure proper waste disposal

This might seem simple, but it is one of the most important (and often overlooked) aspects of a green business. By ensuring that all your waste is stored or thrown away correctly, you avoid pollution and increased carbon emissions.

Even small actions can help. For example, place recycle bins outside your office so that your employees can dispose of their waste correctly. You also need to make sure that medical waste, polluted waste, and all other waste is stored or handled correctly to avoid harm to human health and the environment alike.

How Can Your Business Become Environmentally Responsible? 

There are a few very small things that you can do to help your company become environmentally responsible. While companies should carefully review all aspects of their business to reduce emissions, here are a few places to start that are easy to implement:

recycled tag - what is corporate environmental ethics
  • Turn off lights that are not needed
  • Collect rainwater so that you can water your plants at the office 
  • Recycle your plastics, glass, and paper — this will reduce waste and help the environment
  • Use reusable straws, coffee cups, and shopping bags so that there is less plastic going into the oceans and landfill
  • Avoid printing documents to save paper
  • Create packaging that is recyclable or made from recyclable materials


Research shows that 54% of American businesses have formal green programs in place.  As founder of Green Buoy Consulting Eliza Erskine said, “Sustainability has become a priority for businesses.” 

Consumers have begun to realize that if companies are not green, they will not survive the new paradigm. It’s clear that environmental conservation and corporate environmental ethics are of increasing importance to consumers. You will not only help the environment by becoming environmentally responsible, but you will also boost consumer confidence in your company as well.