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How to make an Environmental policy

An environmental policy is an internal document setting out an organisation's environmental position and values. It outlines what environmentally harmful practices to avoid, and encourages environmentally friendly ways of working.

Outline your commitment to managing the environmental impacts of your business using this environmental policy template. A good environmental policy can help you manage your resources, achieve cost savings and promote more environmentally friendly practices. Our environmental policy includes statements on reducing the environmental impact of your people, activities and operations. You can monitor your environmental practices and their effectiveness by regularly reviewing your environmental policy.

Use this environmental policy to:

  • help you stay within the law
  • improve information for employees about their roles and responsibilities
  • improve cost control
  • reduce incidents that result in liability
  • conserve raw materials and energy
  • improve your monitoring of environmental impacts
  • improve the efficiency of your processes

This environmental policy covers:

  • what the policy is intended to achieve
  • who is responsible for implementing the environmental policy
  • ways you can reduce your impact on the environment, such as managing your energy and water usage as well as being mindful of paper wastage
  • the obligation to review and monitor the policy
  • the obligation to increase employee awareness through training

A good environmental policy shows your business is committed to working in a responsible manner and protecting the environment. It ensures you stay within the law and monitor your environmental impact, and keeps employees informed about their environmental roles and responsibilities.

Ways to minimise environmental damages include:

  • Reducing energy use - turning the lights off when leaving the office, or having energy-efficient light bulbs is a good way to save energy.
  • Reducing water use - checking for dripping taps and pipes or choosing an efficient flushing system in the facilities can reduce water use within the workplace.
  • Minimising waste and recycling more - recycling bins or double-sided printing will help reduce the business' carbon footprint.
  • Promoting the use of non-motorised transport - if possible, encourage staff to walk, cycle or share lifts to go to work.

For more information on how to minimise harm to the environment, read Environmental policies.

Reviewing the policy regularly, in line with your business needs and regulatory requirements, ensures the policy is always up to date and consistent. Don't hesitate to get your staff involved in the reviewing and monitoring process, as this will raise their awareness and commitment towards environmental issues.

All employees should get involved in the development and implementation of the environmental policy. Making your environmental policy accessible to everyone (eg on the business' website) raises staff awareness, and shows third parties how proactive your business is regarding environmental issues. Notice boards, staff meetings and intranet pages are also useful tools to communicate your environmental policy.

Ask a lawyer for further advice on:

  • employees based outside England, Wales or Scotland
  • risk management measures, including environmental insurance
  • ways to manage your corporate social responsibility

Other names for Environmental policy

Environmental policy statement.