World Environment Day is held on the 5th of June every year. The aim of the day is to raise awareness of the environment and specific environmental issues. It is a good reminder that environmental sustainability is an important aspect of all of our lives.
While many organisations have long recognised the damage that can be caused to our environment, it is only relatively recently that delivery organisations have been expected to consider the impact of their activities on the environment and have an Environmental Policy in place to identify how they will reduce this impact where possible.
An Environmental Policy is a clear demonstration of your organisation’s commitment to green issues and a reduction in the wider environmental impact of your operations. Creating such a policy can provide internal and external benefits, for example:
- Staying within environmental legislation.
- Reducing wastage of both materials and energy.
- Clarifying structures for monitoring and reducing your environmental impact.
- Some contractors want to know about the green credentials of their suppliers and will choose a business that shows a clear commitment to the future of our planet.
- Using an environmental policy can pre-qualify you for contracts where impact on the environment is a real concern.
In order to meet 3SC due diligence requirements and for the majority of public sector contracts, there is an expectation that delivery organisations will have, and implement, an Environmental and Sustainability policy. Your policy needs to include your environmental objectives. It can also help to hold an Aspects and Impacts Register.
An environmental aspect is something you use, and the impact is the effect of what you use on the environment. For example, the generation of general office waste such as paper will impact on landfill.
There are many things an organisation can do to improve its environmental impact.
The link below takes you to an Open Access Government page ‘Sustainability begins in the workplace: How businesses can help reduce their carbon footprint’ (Open Access Government is a digital publication that provides an in-depth perspective on key public policy areas from all around the world). The article provides some helpful ideas of how to reduce and limit your organisation’s impact on the environment.
Should you need any further support with developing an Environmental and Sustainability Policy or Environmental Aspects and Impacts Register please contact Denise Blackwell at firstname.lastname@example.org
Denise Blackwell, Risk and Quality Manager, 3SC