Assign clear responsibility
Environmental management may involve a range of different areas within an entity. Typically, responsibilities are held within the corporate division for property and building facilities, procurement and finance, ICT, fleet managers, and work health and safety officers, among others. Contractors, such as building maintenance, waste service providers and cleaning staff, will also have interactions with an entity’s building infrastructure and environmental activities.
Starting with the environmental impacts priority list and related activities (Figure P1.2), it is important to identify relevant areas and individuals with responsibilities within an entity. Responsibilities can then be linked with action plans for data collection, implementing action(s) and reporting. The allocation of primary responsibility for achieving the objectives of an entity’s environmental management strategy to a senior officer strengthens accountability for environmental performance.
Establish appropriate coordination mechanisms
In most entities, responsibility for environmental management will often involve a number of different areas, and for this reason, effective coordination will be critical to the success of any strategy. Clear arrangements for oversight or a dedicated coordinating officer are important considerations as they link initiatives and facilitate the reporting of information to a central point. The coordination role will often involve some quality assurance activity, such as reviewing data and tracking the progress of activities. This information can then be collated and reported to senior management.
In order to effectively coordinate environmental activities, some entities have established a dedicated position, such as an environmental manager, and in some larger organisations teams have been established. While many entities have noted the benefits of a dedicated environmental manager, this role needs to be adequately resourced if an entity’s environmental objectives are to be achieved.
Provide oversight and review performance
Effective senior executive oversight of an entity»s environmental management strategy and the routine review of environmental performance help to ensure that initiatives are progressed, mandatory obligations are met, and risks are managed. The consideration of environmental management, as part of existing governance structures and arrangements, also reinforces the positioning of environmental performance alongside more traditional business measures, such as financial performance. Furthermore, the oversight and interest of senior executives in the environmental performance of an entity sends an important message to staff regarding an entity’s commitment to reducing environmental impacts and further reinforce a culture of environmental awareness.
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