The demand from businesses for environmental services has increased rapidly since the turn of the century. In fact, research firm MarketsandMarkets determined that the market would reach $123.13 billion by 2022. Given this massive industry, more businesses are asking, “What are environmental services?” and, “Why are environmental services important?”
What Are Environmental Services?
Environmental services safeguard and optimize water, land, and air at your sites, maintaining their qualitative functions. These services aim to rid the soil, air, and water on your land of toxins and prevent chemical spills and other forms of contamination.
Environmental services allow for goods and services to be produced using energy and raw materials in the most sustainable possible ways. They mitigate, limit, prevent, measure, and rectify soil, air, and water damage. Objectives of these practices include landscape maintenance, support of living things, and finding solutions for waste management challenges stemming from human activities. They protect ecosystems and reduce noise pollution.
In other words, the answer to “What are environmental services?” is, in brief, “Services aimed to protect the environment.”
What Are Environmental Services Types & Examples?
Environmental services fall into three basic categories:
- Productive services – services designed to allow for economic gains;
- Disposal services – services that address the impact on the natural environment as it absorbs residual substances; and
- Consumptive or consumer services – services that allow people to utilize spaces for recreation and physiological health.
Specific example services include emergency action plans, stormwater pollution prevention plans, remedial investigation, contamination assessment, 24-hour emergency spill response, and on-site environmental audits.
Why Are Environmental Services Important?
There are various reasons why companies are looking for an environmental services company to supply these types of services:
#1. Economic gains & asset protection
By safeguarding the environment (along with taking other steps to protect your workers’ health and safety), you improve morale. Better morale improves productivity, resulting in higher profits. Additionally, the steps you take to maintain and remediate your natural assets help retain their value. A healthier natural environment is one that is worth more on the market.
#2. Corporate responsibility
Environmental services are part of the environmental health and safety (EH&S) industry. The health and safety of human beings are reliant on a healthy and safe environment. In turn, companies have a responsibility to protect the planet and the people who live here – including their own personnel.
This need has arisen as human residents and the environment has been threatened by accelerating consumer goods production and increased energy consumption. In fact, environmental management saves both the natural world and human lives.
Thankfully, developments in the field make it easier and more straightforward than ever before to thrive while protecting your employees and the surrounding atmosphere.
#3. Public perception
Beyond the necessity for companies to be socially responsible to their employees and people who live near their facilities, there is also the matter of public perception. People are increasingly concerned with environmental issues. Awareness is increasing every year about the role that the environment can play in physical and mental illnesses. Plus, many people now recognize that a concerted effort is needed – not just from individuals and the government, but also from industry.
Regulatory compliance is a fundamental basis for the appeal of environmental services to businesses. Environmental management stipulations were first introduced in the 1970s. Environmentalism and labor rights are often associated with the Democratic Party in the United States. However, it was a Republican, President Richard Nixon, who can be credited with the formation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); he also signed the worker rights within the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSH Act) into law.
According to the EPA website, the environmental legislation that Nixon advocated came about because of public pressure, resulting from a pro-environment bestseller and disasters in the 1960s. The book, Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, detailed the problems with careless pesticide use. One prominent disaster was the intense chemical fire that spontaneously started on the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, Ohio. Another occurred when a California oil rig polluted pristine beaches with millions of gallons of crude oil.
Environmental management mandates first appeared within federal EPA regulations. Following that, many states began introducing environmental health and safety regulations of their own.
OHSAS 18001 and ISO 14001 are global frameworks that outline some of the same standards within US EH&S law.
#5. Smart, conscientious, low-risk expansion
Environmental services are important for businesses as they expand into different nations and geographical areas. As they enter new territories, they must meet those regions’ standards in order to maintain regulatory compliance. The expertise of environmental consultants is needed to ensure the business does not violate regulations and receive fines. It also helps companies avoid negative spotlights and press that might result from noncompliance.
Reaching Out To Environmental Services Specialists
What are environmental services? Why do you need them for your business? By reviewing the above answers to these questions, you can take action. You can then assess different companies that provide EH&S solutions to determine if they are a good fit.
Are you trying to identify an experienced environmental services company for your organization? At AOTC, we use innovative, proactive, cost-effective methods to implement remedies that fast-track your project. Contact us today to discuss your options.