Once you have established and verified the environmental baseline, you should develop a series of broad objectives and more specific targets to improve the environmental performance of your business.
Your choice of objectives and targets should depend on the most significant issues you identified in the baseline review. You can assess the significance of environmental issues using criteria such as the:
- amount and type of regulatory controls that apply, and how well the business is performing in relation to these
- potential to comply with future legislation before it comes into force
- social acceptability - the perception of your business' environmental standards among stakeholders such as customers, employees, local communities and the press
- potential for cost savings from improved performance
- importance of environmental performance in relation to the business' strategic objectives
However the targets are defined, they should include key environmental performance indicators (KEPIs). You can use these to measure the achievement of the objectives. The precise KEPIs will depend on the baseline data, but could include:
- water use
- material use
- waste generation
- carbon emissions
- energy use
You should make sure that KEPIs are finite and measurable, so that you can make definitive assessments of how far the targets have been met. For more information on KEPIs, see how to set environmental performance targets.