How to write an environmental policy

How to keep your environmental policy up to date


Once your environmental policy is in place, it's a good idea to carry out regular reviews. These help ensure your business activities comply with your policy, and also provide an opportunity to set more specific targets.

When to review your environmental policy

You could review your policy after its first six months, and then annually after that. Bear in mind that if your business activities or operations change significantly, the policy may need to be amended.

It's a good idea to involve employees in the reviewing process. If employees are expected to deliver on environmental policy commitments, they may be a good source of ideas for improvements. You should ensure that your environmental policy is available for all new staff to read. If your policy changes significantly, make sure existing staff read the latest version.

Problems with an out of date environmental policy

If your policy is not kept up to date, and it is not backed up with some way of implementing the environmental improvements (such as an environmental management system or less formal programme of improvements), other organisations may think that you're not taking your environmental responsibilities seriously. Consequently, they may decide to take their business elsewhere.

Similarly, if your policy says that you are taking your environmental responsibilities seriously but you fail to back this up, you may face questions over the quality of operations in other parts of your business. This could harm your reputation with customers and suppliers.

You can download an example environmental policy (DOCX, 15K).