ISO 14001 – What is an environmental policy?
The environmental policy is a formal and documented set of principles with respect to the environment. It is the guiding document for environmental improvement. Adhering to the environmental policy is fundamental to the integrity and success of your environmental management system.
It is important that the policy is not just a public relations or paper exercise. Top management must take responsibility for ensuring that they are seen to proactively work to the principles in the environmental policy, if the policy is to be is to be effectively implemented and real environmental improvement achieved.
Lower levels of management and employees across the company will only take environmental performance seriously if top management convey this message consistently through their decisions and actions.
There is a risk that employees may feel that the policy has no real bearing on their particular work activities if they do not understand how it was developed. Consider involving employees from various functions and levels in the organisation when formulating the policy to encourage buy in and a sense of ownership.