An environmental policy is a clear sign that your business cares about green issues and wants to reduce the damage it does to the environment as a whole.
It lists a number of ways that a business can improve that can be measured and their performance tracked.
What are the pros of having a policy about the environment?
Having an environmental policy for your business can help in a number of important ways, such as:
⦿ Keeping to the rules about the environment.
⦿ Setting clear roles for the environment in the workplace.
⦿ Using less materials and energy in your operations will help you save money.
⦿ Structures for keeping track of and reducing your impact on the environment.
⦿ Trying to stop things from happening that could cause a liability.
⦿ And when you think about things outside of the business, the benefits are even bigger.
⦿ Preferred supplier: Many customers want to know how green their suppliers are, and they will choose a business that clearly cares about the future of our planet.
⦿ Better relationships: Businesses that take better care of their local environment, such as by reducing noise pollution and the number of cars on the road, get along better with the people who live there.
⦿ Contractual advantages: Having an environmental policy, especially one with ISO 14001 certification, can help you get contracts where the impact on the environment is a real concern, like reducing carbon costs.
Five steps to writing an environmental policy
Make the organization's goals clear.
The policy needs to make sense in the context of the business's bigger goals. There is no point in making goals for less waste or new behaviors if they will hurt the business as a whole and its ability to function and perform. Cost and risk reduction, as well as PR and sales benefits, are important things to think about.
Keep it brief and to the point.
Work to get your message across in a clear and powerful way. When you know what your goals and aims are very well, it should be easy to explain them.
Use simple language
Get as many people to agree with your policy as possible by putting it in simple, clear language that everyone can understand.
Creating unachievable targets and going for significant goals could be demotivating if the business does not hit the chosen metric. Make sure the company can reach your goals and follow your plan for change.
Get the policy out there
Send a copy to everyone you do business with. Make a poster of it and hang it in the staff room. Make sure everyone knows why the policy is important and can support the plan to make things better.
What should be in your plan?
⦿ Your environmental policy should have a lot to do with how your business works. It has to look at the situation of your business and come up with a plan for specific changes.
⦿ Don’t think about the outcomes, which may be standard aspirations such as the reduction of carbon emissions, instead concentrate on exactly how your business might complete this objective.
Keeping this in mind, when you write your environmental policy statement, you'll need to include and think about the following:
- A section in the middle that explains your company's mission and gives the rest of the policy context.
- Make sure that all of your statements are backed up by performance indicators that show your commitment to improving your environmental performance and running your business well.
- List how you plan to give your employees and suppliers the tools they need to help you reach your green goals. How will you make sure they know how important the policy is, and what will you give them to help them do their jobs?
Indications of how you can monitor your progress and review your targets. This should also be supported by clear statements about how the policy will change when the goals are met.
What is an example of an environmental policy?
The environmental policy document for each business will be different. We released a page about the best policies in place at the largest companies in the world here. It is always helpful to look at examples of environmental policies and procedures to get an idea of how they are set up, laid out, and written.
Again, it's important to remember that no business will have the same environmental policy because it depends on the business's overall goals and objectives.
Making sure your policy on the environment is up-to-date
If your business is always meeting its goals for improving the environment, it might be time to update your goals and become even more ambitious! Hold regular review meetings to get feedback from different business departments on how far you've come in meeting performance indicators. This will help you keep your workplace as green as possible.
As businesses change and new information regarding environmentally aware behaviour appears, it is vital that you update your policy in-line with this change. It needs to show how your business is doing and what the latest ideas are. In the 1990s, for example, there was a movement to use less paper. As sustainable rainforests become more common, businesses are now trying to use less plastic and paper is seen as the better option.
Your employees can also give you important information about your environmental policy. Since these employees are on the front lines and have to keep an eye on operations and deal with the day-to-day running of the company, they can give you top-level advice on how your business can easily adapt and change to meet environmental goals. Often they will have better, more well-developed ideas than the management team.
Adding to your plan for the environment
Your policies on corporate social responsibility and sustainable development can be built on a good environmental policy. If your business is in a high-production field or uses a lot of machinery, your responsibilities to the community and the environment will be closely related.
Equally a sustainability policy should be highly correlated with your environmental policy. Think about how you use goods and services. Check the sources to make sure they can be used again and again. Are you using your trash again, recycling it, or selling it as a resource? Make sure your business is sustainable by going above and beyond what the law requires.
Ready to get started?
Greenifs is the platform specifically developed to help you on your journey to implement sustainable policies! We spent a long time testing and perfecting our environmental registry. You can list and track all of your environmental initiatives. You can also see, what other companies in your field are doing and how successful they are at it!
Once you sign up, Greenifs will also provide you with monthly reports that help you perfect your policies and reach your planned goals faster!