Serious about Sustainability? Start off with an Environmental Policy

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Serious about Sustainability? Start off with an Environmental Policy

Business benefits of an Environmental Policy

There are many benefits for being a Green business. A business that works publicly to reduce its environmental footprint can promote its image as a good corporate citizen. Other business benefits are

  • helps a company to stay within the law
  • assist employees to be informed about their environmental roles and responsibilities
  • improve cost control
  • reduce incidents that result in liability
  • conserve raw materials and energy
  • improve your monitoring of environmental impacts
  • increase the efficiency of your processes
  • develop an eco-friendly image and brand that differentiates you from your competitors

How to write an Environmental Policy

An environmental policy outlines your organisation’s commitment to reduce its impact on the environment. It provides a framework for setting objectives and targets to measure (and improve) your environmental performance.

There is no standard format for this policy. It should be specific to your organisation and relevant to its activities. Measures should of course be SMART (specific, measureable, agreed with staff, realistic & time bound). All combining to a serious commitment to reducing your environmental impact.

As a minimum the policy should contain a commitment to

  • Continually improve your environmental performance
  • Prevent pollution and reduce impact on the environment
  • Comply with relevant Irish and EU environmental legislation

Environmental

Commitments to include are

  • Efficient use of water & energy
  • Efficient use of natural resources
  • Recycling
  • Minimising waste
  • Repurposing
  • Sustainable transport
  • Responsible purchasing
  • Minimising noise disturbance
  • Use of non-toxic products (eg. biodegradable cleaning products and VOC -volatile organic compoundsfree paints
  • Raising awareness & training employees on environmental issues

If your business is linked closely to key customers through the supply chain, obtain a copy of their environmental policy, so that your statements can reflect their requirements and needs.

Your policy should demonstrate commitment by senior management and is usually signed by the managing director, chairperson or chief executive.

You may want to integrate your environmental policy with other policies on health and safety, quality management, corporate social responsibility or sustainability.

Contact us at Celtar business mentors & consultants to assist in drafting your Environmental Policy. We take a facilitative approach, see the Eco-Audit. Finding your Carbon footprint is a first step of your journey to sustainability, check HERE in our blog. We will signpost you to relevant Green initiatives like Green for Micro and the Enterprise Ireland Green supports.

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