Paper manufacturing efficient design and resource use

Paper manufacturing environmental performance management

Guide

Whatever the size of your paper or cardboard business, it has an impact on the environment. You can take practical steps to manage your environmental performance and save money at the same time. This can help you improve and maintain your reputation and win new business. It can help you communicate to your customers and staff that you comply with legislation, and that you care about your impact on the environment.

Use an environmental management system (EMS)

You can use an EMS to help you identify your business' environmental impacts and work out ways to reduce them, for example by using less energy or water, or producing less waste. This can help you to improve your environmental performance. Your EMS should be appropriate to the type and size of your business activities - see environmental management systems (EMS) - the basics.

Report on your environmental performance

Your business can benefit from improving, and reporting on, its environmental performance. For example, reporting will:

  • give you information about your current performance and whether you are complying with legislation
  • identify where you could improve your activities, use resources more efficiently and save money
  • involve your staff and help increase their environmental awareness
  • demonstrate your commitment to improving your environmental performance to your staff, customers and the public

You should involve your staff and document the progress you are making to minimise your environmental impact.

You can find out how to measure and report on your business' environmental performance in our guide on how to produce environmental reports for your business.

Manage your purchases

The goods and services you buy - such as raw materials for your production process, office supplies and catering, cleaning and utility services - all have an impact on the environment. You can reduce this environmental impact and your costs by following green or sustainable procurement practices.

When buying a product or service, you should consider the environmental impact during its full life cycle, including:

  • what raw materials are used to manufacture the product or provide the service
  • how the product is produced and the energy used
  • how the product or service will perform in use, eg if it will use energy or water, or produce waste
  • how much it will cost to dispose of the product and the environmental impact of disposal
  • the potential for reusing or recycling the product
  • the environmental performance of your suppliers

Before buying any products, consider first whether you need to buy the goods or service at all.

See supply chain efficiency and environmental impact and benefits of buying sustainable goods and services.

Communicate with your staff

Encourage all your staff to work together to improve the business' environmental performance. The day-to-day actions of your staff can reduce your environmental impact significantly. Ask someone to volunteer at your site as an environmental champion.

Engage with senior management to gain their support for environmental policies.

Raise awareness among staff about your policies and update them regularly on your progress and what you've achieved to help keep them engaged - see making the case for environmental improvements.

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