A2.5 Environmental Business Case


A business case for something explains the reasoning for initiating action of some sort (such as introducing a new recycling initiative, purchasing a software package, embarking on a training programme or obtaining additional environmental personnel). It is usually presented in a well-structured written document, but may also be in a presentation. The business case will explain the resources required for the action (such as time or cost) and identify how they meet a specific business need. A compelling business case adequately captures both the quantifiable and unquantifiable characteristics of a proposed action.


Business cases are created to help decision-makers ensure that:

  • The proposed initiative will have value and relative priority compared to alternative initiatives.
  • The organisation has the capability to deliver the benefits.
  • The organisation’s dedicated resources are working on the highest value opportunities.
  • Projects with inter-dependencies are undertaken in the optimum sequence.
  • The performance of initiatives is monitored objectively based on the objectives and expected benefits laid out in the business case.


An Environmental Business Case will simply be a business case for an environmental issue. It may include a financial and a non-financial case:

  • Financial Business Case – Quite simply the bare financial facts of the proposed action. How much it will cost versus how much it will save.
  • Non-Financial Business Case – This involves highlighting the moral and ethical reasons why an action is important and should be undertaken. Occasionally at the detriment of cost.