For resource-intensive organizations, conservation and environmental initiatives are more than feel-good activities.
Environmental stewardship can ease regulatory and compliance burdens, limit effort, and waste, and increase profit margins. Yet, many businesses still combat to justify green efforts.
Implementing an environmental initiative in your business can be extra than simply an exercise in sustainability. The program can incorporate pragmatic efforts to reap precise business goals, from decreasing compliance requirements to improving product quality.
Whether your organization’s environmental initiatives have stalled, or you have not started one yet, here are five suggestions to help you get the ball rolling.
1. Consider your people
If your employees have reported environmental, quality or safety issues that could be improved, take them seriously. Not only will you improve your work environment, reduce risk, and avoid potential regulatory citations, but your employees will benefit from being active participants in meaningful change. Environmental programs are only as good as employees who support and implement them.
2. Pick the low-hanging fruit
Look for projects where a small change will save money on energy, material waste and other obvious return on investment. When getting started, remember that changes don’t have to be drastic to have a positive impact on your environmental footprint, and in many cases it’s easier to implement and support. financial management for minor adjustments. When you can show the results of smaller initiatives, it’s easier to get support for larger initiatives later.
For this same reason, start by focusing on short-term projects, whose impact can be measured in six months or less. Showing a positive impact on results early on will motivate senior management to pursue and fund your efforts.
3. Start an environmental management system
These types of systems are essential for measuring and validating your company’s efforts and success rates. Finalizing the complete system takes time but putting the basic framework into action is not difficult.
An important first step is to appoint an environmental manager to collect feedback from the operations management. about potential process improvements that will provide environmental benefits. Once you’ve identified these goals, prioritize them based on which ones are most profitable.
4. Establish clear parameters
From the very beginning, top management must come to an agreement on what they want to achieve. Environmental initiatives almost always involve resource allocation, and progress is easier with advance support.
For example, it may not be practical to leave a key production employee off work for two weeks to implement the changes, so you may need to train another project manager.
5. Keep an eye out
Remember that staying active requires constant vigilance. Over time, improvements can go unnoticed as small gaps build up. Monitor activities where problems can creep in and negatively impact sustainability goals.
Sometimes it’s hard to see the benefits of an environmental initiative in the first place. Following these five steps will help show your business that going green is not only responsible but can have a positive impact on the bottom line.