Many businesses need an environmental consultant, they just don't know it.
Do you know the environmental regulations that your company needs to follow? For many industrial (and even commercial) facilities out there, there are usually a handful of environmental regulations that apply, no matter where you’re located, or the industry you're in. Generally, when we ask people if they’re fully in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations, the answer is… maybe?
Well if you aren’t fully sure, you’re not alone. For many, understanding the full range of applicable environmental regulations is like trying to understand your taxes. For some, it’s easy. For others, it’s beyond them. Just like hiring an accountant, sometimes you are better off turning to outside help to make sure things are done correctly from the get-go.
Why would I need an environmental consultant?
Yes, we are environmental consultants, and yes, you’re right, this is somewhat of a biased article. Again, making the accountant analogy, there are times when organizations can easily, quickly, and cheaply get themselves into environmental compliance with little effort. This goes double for any operation or business that has a dedicated environmental manager, or someone with the background and knowledge to get into compliance. But for others, this is a tricky task.
When people turn to us for help, or say they aren’t sure if they need help, we generally point out 5 different reasons why they may need to hire an environmental consultant for their business or facility. They are:
- You don't know which regulations apply to you.
- The environmental regulations that apply to you are completely confusing.
- You want to avoid penalties (non-compliance) now, before you get in trouble with regulators.
- You got into trouble with regulators because of an environmental issue.
- You have a company vision for sustainability and "going green" but don't know where to start.
It can be difficult to stay in environmental compliance when you're managing a business! You may or may not be dedicated full time to environmental regulatory compliance, which means you may or may not be able to fully place your attention on vital issues. With help from environmental consultants, you can avoid potential fines or other penalties due to non-compliance and keep your business running smoothly.
But it's not all avoiding getting in trouble! An environmental consultant can actually help you become a leaner, greener, more profitable business too!
Let's dive a little deeper into these signs that it may be time for your business to hire an environmental consultant.
You don't know which environmental regulations apply to you.
It goes without saying that you'll need to know which environmental regulations apply to you. Unfortunately, this is often easier said than done. There are lots of caveats, qualifications, and stipulations that may affect whether you need to adhere to certain environmental regulations. The environmental regulations, laws, and rules that your facility faces can originate at the Federal, State, county, local, or even regional level. There can be additional levels of considerations, such as for territories, or even Tribal land considerations. Point being, there could be numerous (and contradictory) levels of regulations that apply to your organization.
Environmental consultants are experts on environmental regulations. They can help you figure out which environmental laws apply to your business and what the specific requirements of those environmental rules are for your type of company. It's much easier to keep in compliance when you know exactly how a regulation applies specifically to you!
The environmental regulations that apply to you are completely confusing.
Even when you know a regulation applies to you, many simply can't understand the regulatory "mumbo-jumbo" used in laws, permits, rules, regulations, etc. It’s like trying to navigate tax code – it can be EXTREMELY confusing to many individuals out there.
Environmental laws, permits, and regulations aren't always easy to understand. They're usually overly wordy, technical, and complex - making for a difficult time to read through and absorb (especially if you aren't used to the environmental regulatory language).
If environmental regulations are confusing to you or your employees, then it's time for an environmental consultant! An environmental consultant can help break down this "mumbo jumbo" and make it easy to digest while also providing expert advice on how best to keep your business environmentally compliant.
Think of an environmental consultant like an accountant for environmental regulations. They'll do the heavy lifting, help guide you to make better decisions and choices, and distill the technical, confusing, complicated information into something that you can wrap your head around.
You want to avoid penalties now, before you get in trouble with regulators.
If this is the case for you, kudos for being proactive! It's always best to stay ahead of environmental compliance issues and get your ducks in a row before they come bigger (and more expensive) issues.
For some, the initial fee for non-compliance is simply the cost of doing business. But what about the second time? Third time? You won’t just get a fine forever. Eventually, you could be facing heightened penalties, including anything and everything from shutting your operation down on a temporary or permanent basis, to drastic measures such as jail time for individuals for extreme non-compliance.
Environmental consultants will work with you to make sure that your business is environmentally compliant - before regulators have any reason to come knocking on your door for violations! And, if they do, you'll breeze through any inspection they can throw at you. It's true that environmental consultants don't just help keep your business in environmental compliance - they can also save you a lot of money in fines, too!
You got into trouble with regulators because of an environmental issue (non-compliance).
If you fall into this boat, it’s likely you either need, or are required to obtain outside help to get your organization on the path to complete regulatory compliance. Sometimes as part of an enforcement action, businesses are required to fully get into compliance with all regulations, which may require the need for outside environmental consultants.
If this is currently the case for your business, environmental consultants can help you get back on track! Even if you've been in business for a long time or have experience with environmental regulation compliance, it doesn't mean that your employees know what they need to do when environmental issues come up at work.
Environmental consultants can help you create an environmental compliance plan (often required after a penalty or violation tied to a non-compliance issue), train your employees on environmental regulations and requirements, provide expert advice when environmental issues come up at work - the list goes on! You'll be much more likely to handle and deal with regulators the next time with the help of an environmental consultant.
You have a company vision for sustainability and "going green" but don't know where to start.
Maybe you see simply "complying" with environmental regulations as the bare minimum. That's the spirit! If you and your company have a vision for environmental sustainability and "going green", environmental consultants can help you put this vision into action. This is a common issue for many organizations out there today, who want to embrace customer demands and deliver a green product/process, but simply don’t have the manpower or know-how to begin.
Environmental compliance is truly just the beginning! It’s the participation trophy. It’s just following the law. You aren’t going above and beyond. And really, who should get awarded for doing the bare minimum??
With an environmental consultant, your business will be doing more than staying out of trouble with regulators - it'll also be on its way to becoming a leader in environmental responsibility. Not only will you be a shining example in your industry and provide new marketing & sales opportunities, (more money for your company) but you'll look great in the eyes of your customers. Consumer spending habits are changing, and it's never been more important to customers of all types, B2B, B2C, and even B2G, for them to buy from companies that are environmentally responsible.
In fact, in some instances, it’s now a requirement that environmental considerations are factored in (such as by government agencies, or even private organizations like universities and tech companies). So, if you aren’t addressing your company’s environmental performance, processes, and products, you won’t even be allowed to bid on jobs.
By now it's been documented that consumers would actually prefer to pay higher prices if it means buying from an environmentally responsible brand. More, higher-paying customers only means one thing: more profit for you!
Environmental consultants can help your business stay in compliance and make more money.
That’s the easiest way of looking at it.
Again, think of an accountant. A good one will keep your organization out of trouble with the tax man and save you as much as possible in terms of your taxes. An environmental consultant aims to do the same (or at least we do here at RMA)!
In reality, most businesses would be better off with the help of an environmental consultant - they just don't know it!
Environmental regulations can be tricky, but environmental consultants know all the ins and outs of what you need to do to comply with various regulations, from the Federal government, down to local issues. They'll make sure that you and your employees know exactly what is expected of you, so there's no room for confusion.
And, it's not just environmental compliance anymore! Environmental consultants can help you set environmental goals for your business, create a roadmap to getting there, and make sure that environmental excellence helps your company grow and expand.
Talk To an Environmental Consultant
Like we already said, yes, this inherently is a biased article. We are consultants, and by you hiring us, you are helping us to stay in business, pay our staff, and grow. While this may sound self-serving, and to a degree it is, the truth is that many organizations don’t have the manpower, time, or know-how to stay in environmental compliance and out of trouble.
If you're overwhelmed, you're not alone. RMA has been actively involved in helping companies get and stay in compliance with environmental regulations across the United States since our founding in 1992. Long story short, we know the ins and outs of the environmental regulatory concerns industrial and commercial facilities face, and can help you get into compliance, ensuring your business stays out of trouble.
Our staff has been on-site at thousands of facilities across the US (and abroad), so when we say we've seen it all and done it all, we mean it. No matter your size or location, we'd love to learn how we can help.
If you're struggling with compliance, just want an outside set of eyes to make sure things are going good, are shopping consultants, or want to “go-green”, reach out. Even if we can't help, we’ll do our best to steer you in the right direction. Feel free to contact us at email@example.com, click here to contact us, or give us a call anytime at 888-RMA-0230 to learn how we can help your facility deal with stormwater permits and other environmental regulations.