CSR themes

Environmental Protection

Environmental Protection

By their operations, each organization has an impact on the environment. Although the nature and scale of the impact are different depending on the organization size, location, and activity sector, there is no organization that makes zero effect. Therefore, for every organization, environmental protection is one of the important and core topics of corporate social responsibility and it is tightly linked with other CSR aspects and components. 

In the 20th century, rapid technological development, industrial revolution, and globalization brought many positive results. However, these also created new challenges and difficulties, including some of the following environmental challenges: 

  • Global warming and ecological disasters
  • Extinction of species
  • Shortage of clean water
  • Excessive waste
  • Shortage of natural resources,

Along with increased population size and a respective growth of production and consumption, the mentioned problems pose increasingly serious threat to the mankind. So, no organization can avoid taking environmental responsibility which is a pre-requisite for saving the mankind and ensuring their wellbeing.

Impact of the organization’s activity on the environment

The impact that any organization makes on the environment by its activity, products or services, is mostly related to the following factors:

  • Using of natural resources by the organization (raw materials, clean water, sources of energy)
  • Creation of waste (solid as well as liquid waste)
  • Air and water pollution
  • The organization’s contribution to the global warming
  • The impact of the organization’s activities on the natural eco-systems and biodiversity

For any company, these impacts and their scales will be different. So, each organization plans its environmental strategy and respective activities considering the environmental impact of its operations and actual or potential environmental risks linked to its products and services

Directions of environmental responsibility

By taking into account the companies’ environmental impacts resulted from their operations, environmental programs and initiatives of the organizations can be categorized into following main directions:

  • Prevention and mitigation of environment pollution
  • Sustainable use of natural resources
  • Mitigation of impact on global warming
  • Biodiversity protection and restoration of eco-systems 

Obviously, various companies will have different environmental impacts conditioned by their size, activity areas, and other factors. So, the main directions of their environmental programs will also be different. It is important to tailor environmental program to the company specifics, in order to address environmental risks that an individual company faces and mitigate negative impacts that the company has on the environment.

Prevention and mitigation of environment pollution

Sustainable use of natural resources

Mitigation of impact on global warming

Green office

Companies that do not have points of sales or production facilities and are mostly operating in office spaces (e.g. consulting firms, law and architectural companies, advertising companies, banks and insurance companies, educational facilities, etc.) often wrongly think that they do not have an impact on the environment and that environmental responsibility is irrelevant for them. However, company of any size and from any sector causes a certain environmental impact.

The best and quite widespread way to mitigate these impacts is “green office”.


Using energy efficient LED bulbs and light sensors to cut down on energy consumption

Following are measures how to create a green office


Using energy efficient LED bulbs and light sensors to cut down on energy consumption


Using energy efficient computers, printers and other office electronics and household appliances (refrigerators, air conditioners)


Using rechargeable cartridges


Refurbishing outdated office equipment (computers, printers, etc.) and giving them away for second-hand use (for example, to non-profits, social enterprises, etc.)


Insulating the buildings and reducing energy loss (sealed windows, insulation of the walls and the roof)


Reducing the travel: replacing trips by virtual conferences, planning most optimal travel routes, introducing employee car sharing initiatives, and stimulating bike-riding


Using vehicles with alternative fuel – electric and hybrid vehicles


Reducing water usage – sensor faucets, water saving flushing systems, water conservation and recycling, etc.


Reducing paper usage by introducing electronic processing and documentation systems, double-side printing, etc.


Purchasing sustainable/green label paper, for example, FSC labeled paper


Office and household waste separation and recycling, adequate disposal of electronic waste


Substituting disposable plastic tableware with glass dishes


Selecting renewable energy suppliers


Monitoring and offsetting of greenhouse gas emissions


Considering environmental aspects of suppliers in the supplier selection process and procuring eco-friendly products. Giving advantage to local suppliers that, along with stimulating local production, also mitigates transportation related environmental impact


Raising the employees’ environmental awareness and stimulating their behavior changes.

Main principles and approaches of environmental responsibility

Environmental programs are different for various companies: each company focuses on the most significant impacts caused by their activities, considering their relative importance and the scales.   

However, international and expert organizations have developed following environmental responsibility principles and activity approaches that should be equally relevant for and considered by any company:  

Complying with law requirements and regulations, and adhering to international standards

Managing environmental risks

Reducing environmental impacts of products and services throughout their life cycle

Adhering to the Precautionary Principle

“Polluter pays” principle

Adopting Environmental management system/EMS

Conducting environmental impact assessments

Eco-efficiency and introducing ecofriendly technologies or processes

Sustainable/green procurements

Awareness raising on environmental issues