Having completed the environmental review and established targets for improvements, you need an action plan which will address the issues and enable you to meet the targets.
Your action plan should highlight:
- specific tasks
- the person responsible for each task
- the deadline for completing each task
The plan should be signed off by senior managers, so that the decision-makers in the business buy into the objectives, and accept both the possible costs and benefits.
However, the action plan will probably affect everyone in your business. As environmental initiatives often involve changes in behaviour, it is important you engage with all areas of the business and at all levels. As well as having buy-in from senior managers, the involvement and support of all employees is crucial to the success of the plan.
It can be easier to actively engage employees in your action plan by demonstrating the benefits of implementing environmental measures. One way of doing this is by providing them with advice that can help them reduce their waste, water and energy consumption at home.
You may also want to appoint an environmental champion to make sure that the action plan is being put into practice effectively. Larger businesses may want to appoint an environmental champion for each site or department and an environmental working group of these champions under a senior manager. This group should meet to update on progress, discuss problems and new ideas and support the environmental champions.
In smaller businesses, this working group might be composed of the regular senior management team or the board of directors, in which case the progress of the plan can form part of regular management or board meetings.
For more information on influencing staff and senior management, see making the case for environmental improvements.