Reducing financial risks by reducing pollution helps to increase yearly profits and economic growth. The general public are very conscious of effect of pollution on their health and environment but not on their economic well being. Therefore, some people including suppliers, investors, and customers take into consideration the effect of their action on the environment but forget to consider the financial risk associated with pollution.
In a commercial real estate transaction, buying commercial real estate without doing environmental assessment can be very risky. The commercial buildings are used to manufacture products or store products. The raw material for production and products themselves may contain toxic substances that are regulated. If a person buys a commercial real estate that is contaminated by previous owner, the new owner becomes responsible for cleaning up the contamination. Sometimes the cleaning up cost can be in millions of dollars. Therefore, to reduce financial risk in any real estate transactions, one must pay attention to pollution.
For industry, the financial risk is very high. Suppliers, customers and investors use different information available in the public domain to make their decision. Lack of attention to details in the design, material of construction, operation and maintenance of a facility can cause accident that may kill many people, make people sick, contaminate water, soil and air. Some of these accidents are required by law to be reported to government agencies and sometimes these accidents are in the in the news. This public information is currently being used as part of decision process to buy a product or invest in a company. The actions of the consumers and investors can cause loss of revenue and decrease in profit for a company.
For example, many BP customers avoided buying fuel from BP during the oil spill. Therefore, BP lost income and customers to competitors. In addition, they have to spend money to stop the leak and clean up the oil spill. The resources that suppose to be used for production and marketing were been channeled to control and manage the oil spill. The company’s image in the mind of the public may be of a company that pollutes the environmental. This perception may affect BP financially now and for many years to come.
In residential real estate transaction, the financial risk can be high. Many families had found themselves in financial trouble and health problem because they bought their dream home that contains toxic lead or sheet rock that contains toxic chemicals. The expensive homes that were built before 1978 used paint that contains lead. During this period, people used lead paint because of its high quality. If a person buys an old home without testing it for lead, he or she can end up remediating a contaminated home to make it fit to live in. The amount of money to remediate lead contaminated house can be very high in addition to mortgage. To reduce financial risk in buying an older home, you need to test for lead before buying it. The test must be done by a certified lead-paint inspector or assessor.
Reducing pollution can be a key to compete in the market place by offering alternative green products. The products varies from cleaning products to organic food.
Copyright @Emmanuel T. Wada