What is it?
Environmental management is traditionally only a matter of compliance. The EPA and other agencies have regulatory authority over communities. Environmental management plans are required and always aim to meet agency regulations. The new generation of environmental management plans aim to reach beyond their regulatory requirements and act progressively to limit and mitigate the impacts of communities’ activities on the environment – a “beyond compliance” approach that would be reflected in the Sustainability vision statement.
Why it is important
An environmental policy statement is the public face of the community’s environmental management plan. The policy statement is a brief, high level, public document that gives a general overview of the goals for the environment and describes its methods for achieving them. By contrast, the environmental management plan is a significant document detailing every function of the community’s operation as it relates to the environment. Producing an annual report provides an opportunity for transparency, sharing its efforts, monitoring results, and benchmarking progress for the public and other stakeholders.
Adopting performance measurement practices. A performance measurement tool is the perfect compliment to both an environmental management plan and the annual report. Establishing environmental performance goals and annual benchmarks for reaching those goals will enable the community to easily report its progress and identify areas for improvement.
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