Climate change is a serious global issue that poses many risks to environmental and human systems. Human activity is cited as the main cause of climate change, but organisations also contribute significantly. Going green has numerous benefits at home, in the workplace, and to the economy at large and brands and businesses have made significant shifts toward greener practices over the last few years. Our latest article explores the benefits of a Green Policy in your organisation.
What is a Green Policy?
A Green Policy is your company’s statement about the commitment to sustainability and environmental management that your business is prepared to make. Having a formal green policy shows your employees and customers that managing environmental issues is a high priority for your company. Sustainability policies offer companies a unique opportunity to declare both internally and externally the strategies they are implementing to protect the economic and environmental viability of their business.
Why do you need a Green Policy?
In addition to driving social and environmental change, sustainability initiatives can contribute to an organisation’s overall success. It may seem counterintuitive that spending more money on sustainable business practices can boost a company’s profitability, but studies show that the most sustainable companies are also the most profitable.
What should it say?
A Green Policy addresses how a company manages and monitors its impact on the environment – both in its own operations and those of its supply chain. There is no set format but typically such policies cover use of energy and water, prevention of pollution, waste and recycling, and use of chemicals. As well as specific targets on reducing impact, a policy should also cover broader approaches to improving the environment such as changing work cultures, outreach and consumer behaviour.
Although there is no legal requirement or standard structure for an environmental policy there are key areas that such a policy should contain. It should say what the key objectives that the company is following, who is accountable and how these are going to be achieved and by whom.
Asking your employees to contribute to your policy is a great way to engage your staff and include their ideas on how they can support the initiatives and get involved, which in turn will have an impact on morale. Scientific research has also shown that organisations with environmentally friendly policies and practices can be more attractive to candidates seeking out potential employers.
Monitoring and reviewing
Once your environmental policy is in place, it’s a good idea to carry out regular reviews and monitor the policy regularly. This will help to ensure your business activities comply with the policy and also provide an opportunity to set more specific targets. Bear in mind that if your business activities or operations change significantly, the policy may need to be amended.
Adopting a sustainability action strategy and putting sustainable practices and policies at the heart of a business can result in significant business benefits including cost savings and an enhanced reputation as a caring and values driven employer, meaning businesses are increasingly waking up to the advantages of more sustainable operations.
For further information and advice on the benefits of a Green Policy in your organisation, please contact us here.