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Making environmental decisions using enterprise resource planning

4/30/2012 at 11:05 am by

There are many factors that have appeared over the course of the last decade that can have a significant impact on how enterprises manage their operations. Technology probably comes to mind most readily since the devices and capabilities of these new machines have made many industries almost indiscernible from their previous incarnations. However, there are other issues that are very important to consider as companies look toward the future.

It may have once seemed to be a passing fad, but environmentalism is very important to many clients, customers and organizations. Besides the fact government regulations dictate how many firms operate, a lot of consumers and business partners are only willing or able to collaborate with companies that facilitate work with an eye toward ecological principles.

Fortunately, the aforementioned technological explosion of the past decade has made it easier than ever for businesses to continue operating efficiently and properly while still protecting the fragility of natural ecosystems. Enterprise resource planning is one of the foremost tools in aid of this goal, so consider the following ways companies can leverage ERP systems to help adopt greener practices.

Compliance
The federal government puts the most pressure on businesses to operate in an environmentally sound manner. The Environmental Protection Agency and other organizations with jurisdictions on a national level require businesses to track certain materials and handle them properly, from the moment they're extracted from the ground to when they find their way into the hands of customers and clients. Standardize and streamline such procedures through the use of enterprise resource planning applications.

Marketing
Portraying a company as in tune with environmental needs is one thing, but backing those claims up with evidence and fact is another effort entirely. Therefore, businesses should be prepared to present literature that explains exactly how they go about their work without harming the earth. This is especially important when it comes to B2B relationships, since large organizations will need more proof than marketing snippets and testimonials before signing off on a partnership.

Tax benefits
Cap-and-trade and similar programs don't require organizations to operate ecologically – they incentivize such behavior. Therefore, a business that has the ability to regulate its pollutant output or sensitive material use can work toward a significant tax windfall. Use ERP programs to be certain company practices are aligned with this kind of goal.

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The Sage ERP team report on various topics related to ERP and business management.

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