How to develop an environmental policy

An environmental policy documents an organisation’s commitment to reducing its environmental impact
March 16, 2023 by
How to develop an environmental policy

Ensuring the safety of the environment is essential. Corporations are said to be responsible for approximately 71% of the world’s carbon emissions. Developing an environmental policy is the first stepping stone to ensuring the environment’s safety while conducting all operations.
What is an environmental policy?

An environmental policy documents an organisation’s commitment to reducing its environmental impact. It provides a framework on how the company plans to achieve this.

What are the benefits of developing an environmental policy?

Developing an environmental policy is beneficial to your company because it highlights how its practices affect the environment. This information will help your organisation find ways to reduce its impact. Developing an environmental policy also enhances your corporate image with your stakeholders. The policy could also help improve your organisation’s efficiency and cut costs. An excellent environmental policy also reduces an organisation’s liability issues.

What should be in an environmental policy?

There is no standard format for an environmental policy; each one should be company-specific. Your policy should be developed by top management. The organisation’s leadership should sign the policy. This shows the company’s commitment to following through with its promises. Ideally, the development of an environmental policy should involve representatives of employees from all levels within the organisation

As stipulated in ISO 14001, environmental policies should include the following:

-The policy must be relevant to the activities, products, and services of the organisation                                                                                                                 -The policy must show commitment to continual improvement of the Environmental Management System and prevention of pollution
-The policy must be documented, communicated to all employees and available to the public                                                                                                       -Must be displayed in the workplace
-Comply with the requirements of environmental legislation and approved codes of practice
-Assess the environmental impact of all historical, current and likely future operations
-Continuously seek to improve environmental performance
-Reduce pollution, emissions and waste
-Reduce the use of all raw materials, energy and supplies
-Raise awareness, encourage participation and train employees in environmental matters
-Assist customers to use products and services in an environmentally sensitive way
-Participate in discussions about environmental issues
-What is the format for an Environmental Policy?                                                   -The environmental policy should reflect the organisation’s culture
-The environmental policy should not be longer than an A4 page
-It has to be easy to read
-The document has to be relevant to the organisation’s policies and practice

The environmental policy is an ever-changing document. It is not static. It should be reviewed annually, and changes applied where needed. The company’s activities should be in accordance with the environmental policy. Employees should be involved in the review process to suggest better ways to implement policies.