Have you addressed environmental justice in your business plan?

On Behalf of | Mar 3, 2020 | Business Law |

When you do business of any sort, your actions will have an impact on the world around you. From the traffic implications of customers or workers coming to your facility to the impact on air quality that your facility could have, there are many ways in which your business could affect other people nearby and their property values.

It is your job as an existing or prospective business to ensure that you comply with state and local regulations. Awareness of your environmental impact is critical to honestly discussing the impact of your business with the local community. Especially in areas that have typically had lax environmental enforcement, your business may need to make extra efforts to operate cleanly.

Pennsylvania wants to focus on environmental justice

Low-income households and minority neighborhoods are disproportionately impacted by environmentally-negligent business practices. Businesses would move into areas, pollute them, use up natural resources and then close down, leaving the local community to absorb all the costs and negative consequences of their environmental impact.

For far too long, Pennsylvania failed to take adequate steps to protect vulnerable populations from environmental degradation caused by business development. These days, consideration of environmental justice implications and the consequences for nearby residents have become standard considerations for new or expanding businesses in Pennsylvania.

There has also been significant outreach to help offer support and educational resources to those impacted by dirty business practices. Local communities have become more engaged and often expect more honest and comprehensive answers to questions about the impact of a new company or facility.

You need to explore the potential impacts your business could have

Instead of waiting for someone to bring claims about your carbon emissions or potential water pollution issues that could slow down the process of obtaining permits or permission for your business or its expansion, it makes a lot of sense to do your own environmental impact analysis prior to seeking public approval for your project.

That way, you can have an idea of the financial cost of offsetting those impacts and find a way to make your business seem valuable to the community despite the potential environmental impact. Contributions to the local community, a commitment to social justice and a plan to offset any potential consequences could all help convince local residents and officials that your business will benefit the community rather than do it harm.