A steady increase in consumption and, consequently, a growing number of all sorts of waste that enter the surroundings are the growing threat to the environment. The blame for such a situation cannot be put solely on consumers; however, they also have a big impact on whether waste will be sorted and processed or landfilled. Developing consumer knowledge, skills and attitudes is the right approach to the problem that exists today. However, it is difficult not to notice that apart from consumers, there are many other factors that determine the state of the environment, such as legal arrangements governing a given area and the manufacturers of all these goods who, by using certain manufacturing and packaging technologies and by specifying the distribution processes, have a very serious impact on the state of the environment. Who knows, perhaps it is even the biggest impact, because e.g. the manufacturers of PET bottles produce them in billions, but they are not interested in returning those bottles after use to the establishments they came from. Examples can be multiplied, which further enhances the role of business, i.e. manufacturers of goods as well as distribution and trade in the area of growing environmental threats.

Corporate Social Responsibility for the environment

The growing worldwide environmental threats have seen a business response. A voluntary initiative of business companies (entrepreneurs) under the name Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has been created – it is a concept according to which enterprises take social interest and environmental protection as well as relationships with various interest groups into account at the stage of strategy development.

This is a voluntary, yet very important initiative, because it means that, in addition to complying with applicable environmental laws, companies voluntarily undertake and finance various initiatives to support proecological activities. Actions in the field of corporate social responsibility, or responsible business, are interdisciplinary and important due to the following variables: economic, historical, and cultural, as well as those related to organizational management, psychology, philosophy, sociology, and political science. However, the scope and the subject of activities undertaken by major global corporations hugely differ from those undertaken by medium and small-
sized, and even tiny enterprises. Large corporations can do much more, that is true; however, they are not very numerous. Smaller and quite small-sized enterprises perhaps may do less, but there are many of them in every country. Who knows if it is not so that these small and medium-sized enterprises can do much more for the environment than large corporations. The conclusion is that by undertaking own “green” actions as far as reasonably possible, the impact of small and medium-sized enterprises on the environment and its resources will prove to be the greatest.

Nature Friendly Company – programme assumptions.

The goal of the Nature Friendly Company programme is:

  1. 1. Raising the ecological awareness of the society and of the entrepreneurs themselves in terms of environmental risks posed by waste electrical and electronic equipment and the ways of minimizing these hazards.
  2. 2. Strengthening the market image of enterprises that minimize the negative impact of manufactured or imported equipment as well as technological solutions and processes used on the environment.

The above goals also set out clearly how a company can benefit by joining the programme. These are educational and image-related benefits that strengthen the market position of enterprises participating in the programme.

Actions and forms of achieving goals set

In order to achieve the goals set, the following actions are taken:
– periodic, free-of- charge trainings for entrepreneurs-clients on revised or new legislation on WEEE as well as packaging and batteries waste management,
– issuance of a Certificate in paper form, confirming the participation in the programme and the right to use the logo in accordance with the programme Rules and Regulations (see: NFC Rules and Regulations),
– a CD with educational and promotional materials,
– promotion of the Nature Friendly Company programme and its logo in all AURAEKO educational activities.