Environmental Management in Industry and Manufacturing

Paul Downing

The aim of sensible environmental management in business is three-fold, obviously to minimise the impact of your operations on the environment but also to align this with your business aims and objectives in order to help promote your business and to reduce overheads. Below is a list of some of the most cited reasons for managing environmental impact from the companies I have worked with.

  1. Reduced cost – Reducing environmental  impacts such as waste & packaging has a direct impact on costs.
  2. Increased PR – Green is everywhere today in business, if you do environmental management well promote the fact.
  3. Increased business efficiency – Developing good KPI’s such a kWhr’s used per widget produced makes good business sense.
  4. Legal compliance – There are numerous and complex legal requirements depending on business type and scale of operations. No two companies need to comply with exactly the same pieces of legislation, so keeping on top of this requires time and effort and minimises the risk of legal action by regulators.
  5. Customer requirements – If you are supplying to a large client, you will probably have to demonstrate your environmental credentials via a management system or ISO 14001.
  6. Stakeholder engagement – Investors, shareholders and other interested parties all want to know that there is no latent liability in the business before lending or investing.
  7. Employee engagement – Most employees want to know that they are working for an environmentally responsible business.
  8. Competitive advantage – Similar to 2 above, in that all of your competitors will be thinking of developing environmental management systems if they are not already implementing them.
  9. Risk reduction – The likelihood of spills or environmental incidents is lessened if you have identified the potential risks in advance and have processes in place to manage them.
  10. Business planning – By identifying legislation and costs (as well as benefits) related to environmental impact, you are in a better position to set budgets and plan for the future.

Environmental management in industry has come a long way in the last 20 years or so and is no longer a fringe interest promoted by the enthusiastic amateur. In order to develop and progress in an increasingly competitive market place, businesses must adopt all tools at their disposal to reduce cost and promote their interests in the most professional manner.

For more information on managing environmental and energy impacts in your business or for help on developing a policy or change management programme, please contact us direct for free initial advice.

Paul Downing

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