34+ SAMPLE Environmental Policy Statement Templates

Environmental Policy Statements: What Are They?

An environmental policy statement is a foundation of environmental improvements made for any business as it sets out key aims and principles. That is why it is the senior management who usually implements it. This statement is defined as a document that outlines the objectives and principles of a business regarding the management of the environmental effects and aspects of its operations. Despite putting one in place is optional and voluntary, the number of businesses that apply this policy is increasing. Moreover, if you want to execute an environmental management standard, having a signed environmental policy statement is necessary. The statement is also essential whether in intending to work with large organizations or demonstrating to customers and other stakeholders your commitment to responsibly managing environmental impacts.

Based on a report published by Pew Research, 64% of American adults believe that protecting the environment and dealing with global climate change should be top priorities for the president and Congress

An article by Indeed suggested that the following policies should be implemented by companies: (1) Equal Opportunity Policy, (2) Workplace Health and Safety, (3) Employee Code of Conduct Policy, (4) Attendance, Vacation, and Time-Off Policies, (5) Employee Complaint Policy, (6) Ethics Policy, (7) Work Schedule and Rest Period Policies, (8) Substance Abuse Policies, (9) Workplace Security Policies, (10) Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Policy, (11) Compensation and Benefits Policy, (12) Tavel Policies, (13) Employee Fraternization Policy, and (14) Inclement Weather Policies.

Meanwhile, Intuition reported that 58% of companies will spend more time in communicating regulations, with 16% expecting more contact in 2020.

What Are the Benefits of an Environmental Policy Statement?

Putting in an environmental policy statement provides significant benefits to a business. There are the following: (1) helps the business stay within the law; (2) informs employees of their roles and responsibilities to the environment; (3) improves cost control; (4) reduces incidents in the workplace; (5) conserves energy and raw material; (6) improves monitoring of environmental impact; and (7) promotes efficiency. However, some benefits are not restricted to internal operations because by demonstrating a commitment to environmental management, a business can develop positive relationships with external stakeholders (investors, insurers, customers, suppliers, regulators, and the local community). As a result, it improves the business’s corporate image and financial benefits like an increase in investment, customer sales, and market shares.

Environmental Management System (EMS)

Setting up an Environmental Management System or EMS can back up the environmental policy statement by implementing a program to systematically deliver the policy in a strategic way. Without EMS, the policy’s benefits would be hard to achieve and its absence will invalidate your claims towards the policy’s credibility and reliability. If you choose not to put up a formal EMS, take steps to ensure that the policy statement is effective. Do this through assessing the environmental impact to the business, developing appropriate key performance indicators (KPI), and targetting these regularly.

Elements of an Environmental Policy Statement

The content of the environmental policy statement will depend on your assessment. This is the reason why some organizations conduct analysis first hand before they write the policy. Hence, prior to implementing your policy’s provisions make sure to do a preliminary assessment. After that, document the results of the assessment and look for the most crucial aspects of your business operations that affect the environment. This is your reference in writing the policy statement. Next is to start a draft on a piece of paper to outline your policy. And to help you with that, the list below is what your policy should include.

Title: Every important business document needs a title. Why? Because it easily identifies what the document is for. Also, if a document is not properly labeled it might get interchanged with other paper works on your table. Similarly, an environmental policy statement requires a title. Often, it is placed at the topmost part of the statement and written in bold texts. However, the title can be anywhere in the document as long as it is visible to the readers. Meanwhile, multiple-paged policies allocate a single page for its title alone. And it includes the company name, the author’s complete name (senior manager), and the policy’s effective date (mm/dd/yy).Introduction or Purpose: The second element of the environmental policy statement is the intro/purpose. Each policy has a purpose; thus, this part provides an introduction of what the policy document is all about and how it came to be. Often, the intro is the definition of the policy with the legal and regulatory needs and environmental problems or conflicts the policy aims to avoid. Some organizations introduce their official name in this part rather than on the title page. Yet, the format of your policy statement is based on your preference. Other institutions have a standardized format they follow. Scope/Eligibility/Limitations: It is crucial to indicate who the policy statement applies to and who or what it covers. Also, setting the boundaries comes in handy when policy conflicts with people’s interests in the future. So, the third part is dedicated to that. This section can be either scope, eligibility, limitations, or the combination of the three. But, to make the policy concise and avoid long-windedness, most authors only select one. It does not need long to be complete. An efficient policy statement is easy-to-understand. Policy Statements/Guidelines/Provisions: The last part of the environmental policy statement is the provisions, which is the meant of the document. In other words, the last part is the most important section of a policy statement. It is commonly labeled as the “Policy Statement,” “Guidelines,” or “Provisions.” This block should define the sections in the policy statement well by using terms specific to what environmental issues your business wants to put a light on. If necessary, a sub-section for guidelines/provisions is added to further elaborate on the section’s idea. Moreover, this part also indicates conditions or restrictions for applying the policy, expectations, and exclusions.

How Do You Create a Compelling Environmental Policy Statement?

There is no one way to create an environmental policy statement. You can download a policy template and modify it to align with your policy’s purpose. Also, accessing editing tools and word processors can make the task a lot easier. But we will make it even more convenient with the tips in the list below. Find out how to make your environmental policy statement compelling.

Tip 1: Select the Right Format

A standard format for an environmental policy statement does not exist. But to make the document more efficient, it is important to plan the format carefully. While planning, make sure to ask for the management’s approval and emphasize the key benefits of the policy in reducing cost, improving risk management, and boosting marketing. When that is successful, the best next step is to assess where the business stands in terms of environmental management. The way around this is by visualizing the business’s environmental history, along with its impacts and risks. Now proceed to layout the format and keep it short (use 8 ½ by 11 inches sheet).

Tip 2: Create Content for the Policy

Like the format, there is no standard content for an environmental policy statement. Although this type of policy discusses the same subject matter, the content is reflective of the business’s activities, priorities, and concerns. As mentioned above, an assessment must be conducted first before writing the policy to identify the issues the business wants to address. Moreover, the policy statement should contain the following initiatives: recycling materials, minimizing waste, conserving energy, using biodegradable materials, patronizing sustainable resources, and phasing out chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).

Tip 3: Keep Your Policy Statement Updated

To check whether the environmental policy statement’s provisions are still relevant or not, conduct a regular review. It ensures that your business’s operations comply with the policy statement. It is up to how often you want to review your document. But it is advisable to do it annually or in the first six months from the policy’s implementation. In doing this, there is a continual improvement in performing the policy guidelines. Keep in mind that once the business activities change, there may be a need to amend the policy.

Tip 4: Extend the Policy Statement’s Scope

An environmental policy statement should not work in isolation. It can extend its scope to cover not just corporate but social responsibilities and sustainable developments too. Although it can be tedious, it is worth the hassle if you link an existing policy to a separate statement. Extending your environmental policy statement means acknowledging the fact that there are different groups of people relying on your business.

FAQs

What policies should every company consider?

According to an article published by Indeed, companies should have guidelines to help their employees with health, safety, and accountability. Here are the policies: (1) Equal Opportunity Policy, (2) Workplace Health and Safety, (3) Employee Code of Conduct Policy, (4) Attendance, Vacation, and Time-Off Policies, (5) Employee Complaint Policy, (6) Ethics Policy, (7) Work Schedule and Rest Period Policies, (8) Substance Abuse Policies, (9) Workplace Security Policies, (10) Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Policy, (11) Compensation and Benefits Policy, (12) Tavel Policies, (13) Employee Fraternization Policy, and (14) Inclement Weather Policies.

When is a policy useful?

A is an effective communication tool that provides a roadmap for day-to-day operations as it ensures compliance with laws and regulations, gives guidance for making decisions, and streamline internal processes. That is why it is an essential part of any organization.

Why should we comply with policies?

Complying with policies is crucial for companies to benefit from the regulations and procedures they implemented. Some of them set up a compliance program to outline expectations for employee behavior and aid staff in focusing on important goals and objectives of the organization. Intuition found out that 58% of companies will spend more time in communicating regulations, with 16% expecting more contact in 2020.

Rescuing the environment is worth it. There are countless reasons enough to begin a campaign to keep it striving. For businesses, it makes sense to participate in this undertaking as they are the primary benefactors of environmental resources. Start making a difference with an environmental policy statement. You can get a template from our collection today!