Environmental New Year’s Resolutions

Happy New Year!  It’s 2019 and with the beginning of a new year, people look to improve and make new year’s resolutions, so why not take some time to set some for your environmental management?  No matter where you are in your environmental journey, there will always be some areas for improvement.  Read on for some inspiration on the resolutions you focus on this year.

Determine your environmental performance

If environmental management isn’t a priority for you right now, the first step is finding out your baseline environmental position.  You should carry out an assessment that looks at the environmental risks you have on site, such as oil, fuel and chemical storage areas, water discharging areas, the waste that is generated and the risks from equipment, like air conditioning.  You should then look at the controls that are in place to control the risks that you have identified – like regular preventative maintenance on drains, interceptors and air conditioning equipment, spill kit provision and environmental awareness training.  In addition, you should assess the legal requirements that apply to you and your activities.  You will need to determine what legislation applies to you, and specifically how it applies to you.

Find quick areas to improve

Once you have carried out this initial inspection, or if you already not your current status, you can compare your current arrangements and identify any gaps that need filling to ensure compliance.  Beyond that, you may have identified areas for improvement that can supporting existing compliance.  This could potentially lead to cost savings e.g. reducing energy use leading to a utility bill saving.  If you are starting from scratch, there may be key areas you can focus on.  As an example, are your waste arrangements as they should be?  Is waste stored safely?  Litter picked up?  Are all waste streams segregated like they need to be?

Stretch your targets

If you’re already on the path to continual improvement in your environmental management, now is the time to revise your targets.  Have you achieved them, or are you getting close?  Can you push those targets even further and really challenge yourself to improve?  There are so many areas to environmental management, you could focus on a new area you hadn’t previously looked at.  Have you made improvements in waste, energy, water, pollution prevention, emergency planning or any other areas?

Monitor

No matter what your environmental new year’s resolutions are, it is essential that you monitor your progress.  Your targets should be measurable wherever possible, so you can demonstrate that the actions and controls you have put in place are working.  You should maintain a clear action plan to show what you have done and check that those actions are effective.

Looking into the new year, now is the perfect time to take stock and set targets to improve your environmental management.  Wherever you are in your environmental management journey, there is always somewhere new you can take it and look to implement continual improvement.