The care of the natural environment is growing in importance within the political and social agendas of Spain. As a result of this awareness are born interesting business opportunities that we now review.
In the last 30 years, what has come to be called ‘environmental awareness’ has slowly but steadily grown. A good example would be the proliferation of green spaces protected by different administrations, or the imposition of sanctions on polluting companies. In fact, environmental care reaches many layers of the economic and productive sector of society, and this offers important market niches for those companies that know how to identify the environmental needs and demands that have arisen in recent years.
Precisely the first example that we offer has to do with that social awareness, which is compounded by increasing environmental legislation. It is no longer worth producing or producing in any way. Care for the environment is an important legal responsibility of the companies of the sector primary and secondary. And it is also a matter of image and social perception.
From all this awareness comes the need on the part of companies to take great care of their relationship with the environment in which they develop, hence the environmental consultants have begun to open their niche in the market.
Among the services offered by an environmental consultant we can mention:
- Environmental impact studies.
- Prevention of occupational hazards.
- Emission control.
- Energy efficiency studies.
- Projects of care and recovery of ecosystems.
They are just five examples of a fairly long list in which private companies and the public administration can be customers alike. In this way, potential customers increase in number and we have more doors to call.
Among the advantages of this business model are the scarce initial investment required but, above all, the environmental challenges of the present and future, which guarantee that this type of business will be more necessary than ever.
Among the difficulties involved in starting an environmental consultant is the wide competition that already exists within this sector.
One of the major energy sectors that are called to generate wealth and jobs equally. They play in favor of their important growth two factors: on the one hand, the need to produce energy in a more environmentally friendly way, as opposed to the classic coal-fired power stations, to mention a case. On the other hand, fossil fuels are finite and it is increasingly difficult and expensive to access them, so the price of generating energy by these means will end up being unsustainable.
From there, renewable energies are presented as a medium- and long-term commitment in which there are four major energy areas that are developing in parallel:
- Photo voltaic energy.
- Wind power.
- Biomass energy.
- Tidal power.
In the light of these first ideas, this business model comes with a big problem under the arm: the financing. It is true that undertaking in the development of renewable energy requires a very strong initial investment, but it is not the only way to enter this market.
A company dedicated to renewable energy does not have to build or manage a wind farm. There are many alternatives to develop a viable business model, such as the maintenance of these facilities, research into more efficient energy models.
Of course, it is imperative to take into account that the legal terrain of renewable is very malleable and changes rapidly, which may be an added difficulty that you must study before undertaking this sector.
Conservation and rehabilitation of the environment
So far we have presented business ideas that aim to respect the environment and enable sustainable development. However, companies dedicated to the conservation and rehabilitation of the environment are fully engaged in the treatment of the problems that are facing nature and are also alien to man.
Pests, fires, desertification processes … the environment has a series of problems to which entrepreneurs give answers: restocking of forest areas after a fire, adaptation of river channels, pest control and infections affecting native vegetation … There are few tasks that this type of business has ahead.
But in a much closer and domestic environment also highlights the creation and maintenance of urban parks. With the growth of cities and their neighborhoods to the periphery, urban planning has begun to take into account the design of large green spaces. And there are some companies that are already specializing in the construction or maintenance of these parks.
Among the most outstanding challenges for this type of business is the profile of the contractor, which is usually the public administration. In this way, many of the contracts that the company chooses will go through a public tender, with the difficulties and cost of time and energy that this entails.
Adventure sports and nature discovery
Radically changing the approach we find a business sector that lives with the environment. The practice of adventure sports has grown in recent years, both because of the new disciplines and opportunities that are emerging as a public increasingly eager to ‘escape’ from the cities and rediscover nature.
This is a business very linked to the tourism sector, so to undertake it is necessary to also have knowledge of tourism promotion. But this should not sound like a weakness, but as a strength, as the numbers of foreign and domestic tourism grow year by year – with the logical exceptions of each region.
In addition, developing a company of this style does not require a large initial outlay although it does have all the relevant permissions for the specific activity that we want to carry out.
Keys to take into account before embarking on the environment
Whether it is to develop one of the ideas we have left or to start a new one related to the environment, there are certain keys that the entrepreneur should take into account.
The first is the complex bureaucratic and legislative world that surrounds all environmental businesses. This concern of administrations – starting with the European Union and ending with the different Autonomous Communities – means that there is a high degree of control that does not facilitate the entry of private companies in certain areas.
To this must be added that sometimes an important initial investment is required, coupled with the always necessary technical knowledge that does not make it suitable for everyone to undertake in the environment.
However, beyond these obstacles, both private and public companies seem to be increasingly aware of the need to develop active policies for the conservation, recovery and sustainable development of the environment, which opens the door to a multitude of projects for the future. Business.