Environmental 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
- 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.
environmental policy statement.
For your member profile: If you have a comprehensive written
environmental policy signed by the current owner or senior manager of your
organization, provide the language or a link to the policy.
Environmental Teams (also known as Green Teams or Sustainability 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.
For your member profile: Describe your team (membership,
mission, how often it meets, etc.) and how it works to identify and implement
measures that improve the environmental performance of your facility and
Annual Environmental Goals
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.
For your member profile: Provide an example of specific goals your organization has set to reduce its environmental impact (e.g. reduce solvent use by x%, or reduce greenhouse gas emissions by x% by year 20xx.
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.
- Reduce packaging
- Increase durability of product and components
- Incorporate recyclable, reusable, or returnable components
in your product or service
For your member profile: Briefly describe the design,
composition, packaging and other attributes of the product you produce and/or
the service you provide that are designed to reduce environmental impacts. If you provide environmental service or products, describe them here.
Environmentally Preferable Purchasing
Reduce the environmental impact of your organization through the products you buy and the vendors, consultants, contractors and property managers you work with.
Environmental Preferable Purchasing (EPP)Tools
- Consider EPA's Safer Choice,
Green Seal, UL ECOLOGO, USDA Organic or other certified products and services with low toxicity, high recycled content and other environmental
- Purchase previously used equipment or furniture from office
surplus stores, classifieds, or online sources.
- When printing, discuss these paper and ink choices with your printer, or work with a
Sustainable Green Printers.
- When traveling for business or planning a conference at a
hotel, use certified green hotels. When in Maryland, look for Maryland Green Registry lodging, restaurants and
attractions. When working with any hotel, follow these
5 steps and/or ask for responses to
these questions. You may also want to ask conference
participants to sign a
Green Meeting Pledge.
For your member profile: Describe your procurement policy or approach and provide example(s) of product purchasing decisions or vendor contract language.
Environmental Restoration and 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.
- Present information at meetings and conferences
- Hold an open house or share your sustainable practices through social media accounts.
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,
For your member profile: Describe participation or
sponsorship of environmental restoration projects (e.g. stream cleanups,
enhancement of wildlife habitat, etc.) or community environmental projects or
events (outreach to citizen groups, schools, etc.).
Environmental Management Systems (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 as Responsible Care for the chemical industry,
Responsible Recycling (R2) for electronics recyclers, and the
Sustainable Green Printing Partnership
For your member profile: Provide the EMS standard used by your organization (e.g. ISO 14001, Responsible Care, etc.)
Aspirational or Long-Term Environmental Goals
Thinking about and establishing long-term aspirational goals can provide your organization a strong sense of direction and motivation and spur creativity and innovation.
Examples of aspirational goals:
For your member profile: Describe the aspirational sustainability goals that your business is actively working toward that extend beyond the annual goals shared above.