Management and Leadership

En​vironmental Policy Statement

1. Adopt an 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 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.

2. Make the policy statement readily available.

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​​.

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 Team

1. Create and support an Environmental Team.

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 operations.


Annual Environmental Goals

1. Establish and manage annual environmental goals.

Start by compiling 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

1. Reduce the environmental impact of the goods and services your organization provides.

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

1. Choose products, vendors, service providers, venues, etc. that will reduce your organization's environmental impacts.

 For your member profile: Describe your procurement policy or approach and provide example(s) of product purchasing decisions or vendor contract language. 

Ecological Restoration and Community Environmental Projects

1. Restore or enhance your organization's property or assist with community efforts.

2. 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.

3. 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)

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)

1. Implement an EMS to ensure your organization is proactively managing both its 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

1. Set Aspirational or Long-Term Environmental Goals
Establishing long-term aspirational goals can spur creativity and innovation and provide your organization a strong sense of direction and motivation.

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. ​


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