AN ENVIRONMENTAL STRATEGY?
- A SHORT GUIDE TO ENVIRONMENTAL CONSCIOUSNESS
There are increasing requirements to environmental documentation. How does your company meet these new requirements?
1. IDENTIFY THE NEEDS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL RELATED INFORMATION
Customers, public officials, banks and insurance companies, neighbours and your own employees will be asking for this kind of information.
2. DEFINE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL INFORMATION
Such requirements may be
- Environmental accounts for the company's activities
- Eco-documentation of products
- Insight into the company's environmental impacts in the local neighbourhood, etc.
3. SPECIFY THE ENVIRONMENTAL PERFORMANCE OUT FROM THE COMPANY'S ACTIVITIES AND PRODUCTS. NOTE THE FOLLOWING GUIDELINES:
- Environmental Accounting (EAc)
- Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)
- Environmental Performance Evaluation (EPE)
Environmental performances can be specified by means of environmental performance indicators (EPI).
4. ANALYSE HOW ENVIRONMENTAL PERFORMANCE CAN BE IMPROVED
Global, regional and local environmental impacts must be analysed and evaluated, and actual improvements must then be optimised based on this kind of analysis. This requires good insight into the impact the extraction of natural resources has on the environment, and in how different kind of emissions and different kinds of outlets affect the environment. Very often it is useful to combine this with economic evaluations.
5. MAKE CHANGES IN ATTITUDES AND PRODUCTS, AND DOCUMENT HOW THESE CHANGES HAVE LED TO IMPROVED ENVIRONMENTAL PERFORMANCE
Changes may be introduces after "cleaner technology" principles. To achieve continuous improvements it may be useful to establish an environmental management system, e.g. after ISO 14001 or the European system - EMAS. Improvements are to be verified e.g. by environmental audits.
6. REPORT THE COMPANY'S ENVIRONMENTAL PERFORMANCE
This must be done in a professional way. An environmental report is important in the marketing of the company. For products different types of eco-labelling are useful.
The organisation itself chooses the level of practice in this work. However, an overall management strategy is of great importance to achieve success.