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02) Does your organisation have a documented Environmental Management policy?

August 19, 2021
Procurement Risk
Environmental Policy

Answer yes if your organisation has a documented environmental management policy that looks to minimise your organisation's impact on the environment. The policy must have undergone senior management review and approval within the last year. Please upload the policy (as a PDF file) as evidence.

An environmental policy is a written statement, usually signed by senior management, which outlines a business' aims and principles in relation to managing the environmental effects and aspects of its operations. Although putting one in place is voluntary, an increasing number of businesses are choosing to do so.

Having an environmental policy is essential if you want to implement an environmental management standard such as ISO 14001.

Having an environmental policy can provide significant benefits to your business. These include:

  • helping you to stay within the law
  • improving information for employees about their environmental roles and responsibilities
  • improving cost control
  • reducing incidents that result in liability
  • conserving raw materials and energy
  • improving your monitoring of environmental impacts
  • improving the efficiency of your processes

How to implement the control

The Environmental Policy should clearly state the aims and principles of an organisation (its mission) with respect to its impact on the environment. All organisations have an effect to some degree and the policy should recognise this. The policy should also allow its management to communicate its aims and objectives to employees and other interested parties.

There is no standard content for an Environmental Policy, although policies normally contain the same themes, including those listed below. As a general rule, the policy should contain statements on the following criteria:

  • A commitment to continuous improvement and prevention of pollution;
  • Recognition of compliance with relevant environmental legislation and regulations, and with other requirements to which the organisation subscribes;
  • The education and training of employees in environmental issues and the environmental effects of their activities;
  • The monitoring of progress and review of environmental performance on a regular basis (usually annually).

Additional relevant issues which an organisation may wish to address in the Environmental Policy, could include:

  • Transport;
  • Recycling of packaging materials;
  • Minimising waste;
  • Efficient use of water and energy;
  • Use of biodegradable chemicals;
  • Minimising use of solvents.

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