1. Adopt an En​vironmental Policy Statement

    An environmental policy statement is usually a brief document signed by the highest level of authority in an organization. It sets expectations for the organization and its employees with respect to environmental management. An effective environmental policy statement is truthful, not over reaching, and typically contains the following three commitments:​

    • a commitment to compliance with all environmental laws and regulations
    • a commitment to pollution prevention – This means that your organization places a priority on waste reduction over recycling, treatment or disposal of waste.
    • a commitment to continual improvement – This means that your organization or environmental team meets regularly to evaluate your environmental impacts and set annual goals.

    Environmental policy statements should be communicated to employees and available to the public. You may want to post it around your facility, incorporate it into training classes and materials, include it on your intranet and internet sites, or even print it on the back of employee badges.

    See sample environmental policy statement.

  2. Create an Environmental or Green Team

    Environmental or green teams usually involve staff from various parts of the organization. They should meet on a regular basis to identify and monitor environmental activities at your facility. Environmental teams can also sponsor environmental educational opportunities for employees, solicit ideas and suggestions from employees, and organize fun, internal competitions, or events like a Bike to Work week. See Top Five Green Team Tips and more information on building a green team.

  3. Evaluate the overall environmental impacts of your organization and set annual goals to reduce these impacts

    Try brainstorming a list of the overall environmental impacts of your facility, products, and services and then prioritize the impacts based on their significance, severity, frequency, or other parameters.

    Select one or more projects to reduce these priority impacts and establish goals, timelines, measures, and responsible staff.


  4. Develop an Environmental Preferable Purchasing Plan

    Reduce the environmental impact of your organization through the products you buy, and the vendors, consultants, contractors and property managers you work with.

    • Provide Environmentally Preferable Products and Services

      Reduce both your organization’s and your customer’s environmental impact through your goods and services. Consider changes to the design, composition, packaging and transportation of your product to reduce life-cycle costs.

    • Become Involved in Environmental Restoration or Community Environmental Projects

      Look for opportunities to restore or enhance your own property or help with community efforts.

      Share your environmental successes and tips with business partners, trade association members, customers, vendors and the neighboring community.

      Become involved in environmental protection and public policy

      • Contact your elected officials to help improve environmental laws and regulations at all levels of government and report environmental violations you observe to government agencies (To report spills and environmental emergencies, contact MDE)
    • Implement an Environmental Management System (EMS)

      EMSs help organizations identify and manage both their regulated and unregulated environmental impacts. There are a number of EMS standards which offer certification through independent auditors. The most well known is ISO 14001. Others include trade association programs such asResponsible Care for the chemical industry, Responsible Recycling (R2) for electronics recyclers and the Sustainable Green Printing Partnership, All of these require implementation of an EMS as part of their certification requirements.