THERE are so many good reasons for all businesses to have a written environmental policy.
The green agenda moved away from being the preserve of tree-hugging eco activists because savvy entrepreneurs cottoned on to the money saving sense at its core.
It’s not all saving the planet by saving money; being green can help lift profits, too.
Government-backed help organisation Business Link recommends that all businesses have a written environmental policy. They say the benefits include assuring eco-savvy customers that you have a commitment to demonstrable environmental management.
An environmental policy also maintains good public/community relations and, importantly, organisations won’t win business from the public sector or large corporate organisations without one.
“All businesses have an effect on the environment to some degree and the policy should recognise this,” says Business Link. “The policy should also allow its management to communicate its aims and objectives to interested parties, including shareholders, customers and suppliers.”
But every good policy needs to be reviewed every now and again to make sure it is relevant and it is being implemented.
It should also have achievable and clear targets.
As a general rule, the policy should contain statements on improvement, compliance with relevant environmental legislation, education and training of employees, monitoring of progress and review of environmental performance on a regular basis.
The importance of getting staff engaged has been taken up in a big way by the Adelie Food Group in Milton Keynes. Two food factories are competing with each other to throw nothing into landfill but it wouldn’t work if employees were not fully engaged.
Additional specific issues could include transport, recycling, minimising waste and the efficient use of water and energy.
Case studies are numerous of firms that have saved thousands of pounds by focusing on their use of energy, resources and water. One firm helped by support organisation Resource Efficiency East analysed its use of electricity and found that huge amounts were being wasted because its air heating was set to switch on and off based on the time in Rome.
> For more information, log on to the Envirowise website at http://envirowise.wrap.org.uk or Business Link at www.businesslink.gov.uk