An environmental policy is a written statement, usually signed by senior management, which outlines how a company manages and monitors its impact on the environment – both in its own operations and those of its supply chain. Although putting an environmental policy in place is voluntary, an increasing number of businesses are choosing to do so. The policy can be as short as 1-2 paragraphs or as long as 1-2 pages, depending on the size and complexity of the operation. Implementing an environmental policy is a key element of an environmental management system (EMS) and essential if you want to implement an environmental management standard such as ISO 14001 or EMAS. For a comparison of ISO 14001 and EMAS, please have a look here. If you intend to set up a formal EMS, it is important to remember that your policy should have a management and implementation section that focuses on how the policy is delivered alongside effective systems for measurement.
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