Nobody has ever accused big businesses of being eco-conscious. Many of the largest, most successful corporations built their fortunes many decades ago. They did so by utilizing the most cost-effective methods and materials of the time, which are generally not what one might consider sustainable. Modern environmental regulations have these corporations looking to change tactics, but what is eco consulting, and how is it poised to help businesses become more sustainable?
What is eco consulting?
The entire idea around eco consulting is to help educate companies, corporations, and government entities about the best ways to minimize their environmental impacts. Eco consultants do this by presenting quantifiable evidence that will allow businesses and municipalities to amend their outdated practices in a way that is both fiscally viable and environmentally sound.
Eco Consulting NW, a group of sustainability consultants based out of the Pacific Northwest, focuses its efforts by tracking metrics, reinforcing strategies, and helping its clients fall in line with new and often unfamiliar environmental regulations. Like all eco consultants, Eco Consulting NW aims to introduce plans that reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, while maintaining the overall profitability of its clients.
Why is eco consulting necessary?
According to Eco-officiency.com, environmental consulting is the result of a fairly new concept called corporate social responsibility (CSR) which encompasses all green initiatives within an organization. The idea of CSR is not new; environmentalists have been actively protesting unsustainable business practices, plastics, pollution, carbon emissions, and unethical treatment for decades.
The internet and social media have changed things, however. These tools have enabled society to amp up the pressure on businesses in terms of environmental impact and hold them more accountable for their environmental mistakes. The eco consulting industry, therefore, advises these businesses on everything from green building and sustainable development, to waste management and renewable energy.
What do eco consultants do?
Eco consultants may provide a wide range of services to help companies become more sustainable. According to Eco-officiency, these services mostly involve environmental assessments and plans for corrective measures. An eco consultant might, for example, assess how a company utilizes natural resources like energy, water, and carbon, while also investigating how they dispose of waste products or hazardous materials.
They might look into how much plastic a company is using for packaging and offer up affordable, biodegradable alternatives. These consultants might provide plans for reducing waste or conserving energy. An eco consultant might even produce a viable roadmap towards switching over to renewable energy. An eco consultant might look for more ethical sources of materials and offer guidance on sustainable purchasing practices.
When all these changes have been implemented, eco consultants can help put our PR fires and arrange for media coverage of the improved, more sustainable processes. Eco consultants also provide environmental education for their clients, facilitate community involvement, and develop relationships with nonprofits, charities, or environmental groups.
Are there any problems with eco consulting?
There are a few problems with this strategy, however. As effective as all of the aforementioned consultants undoubtedly are, there is no denying that, up until very recently, adopting greener business practices was a fairly expensive undertaking. Additionally, most for-profit businesses' bottom line is always going to be money — so some may hire eco consultants as a PR move, and to make it seem like they care about sustainability.