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What environmental goals should you look at in 2016?

6 January 2016

The 1st January is a time when people look at New Year’s resolutions.   It’s a time to look at improving and setting goals for the future.  The New Year is also a great time to assess the environmental targets of your company and start looking at what you would like to achieve in 2016.  Your goals will depend on your business and what your environmental performance is already, but here are some ideas to get you started.

Do an Environmental Review

Taking stock of your current environmental position is a great place to start for looking at improvements.  An environmental review can identify any legal non-conformities, out of date procedures and areas where you can improve your environmental position.  A good review should look at areas of good and bad practice and provide you with recommendations to meet or maintain compliance with legislation and improve your environmental performance.

Environmental Management Systems (EMS)

Whether or not you have a formal EMS in place, there are a number of things you can look at in 2016.  If you don’t have a recognised system, you can look at working towards ISO 14001 and there are many advantages of doing so, which we will look at in next weeks blog.  If you already have ISO 14001, 2016 is a great time to look at transitioning over to the new 2015 standard.  Even if you won’t be ready in 2016, it’s a good idea to start looking at this sooner rather than later.  For more information about the 2015 standard, read our blog here.

Energy Management

Cost savings are always a great motivation for putting environmental initiatives in place.  If you are a large company that falls under the Energy Savings Opportunities Scheme (ESOS), you will have completed an audit of your energy consumption and produced a report with energy saving ideas.  As the deadline was in December, now will be a great time to review these ideas to see if there is anything you can implement this year to help you become more energy efficient.  If you haven’t needed to carry out ESOS, why don’t you see if there are any quick wins you can implement?  Do people switch off equipment when it is not in use?  Do you know what you are consuming?  Can your lighting be more efficient?

Objectives and Targets

Every company will be at a different stage with their objectives and targets.  Some companies will have them clearly stated as part of their EMS, while other companies will have none.  This year is a great time to review your objectives and targets to make sure they are continually relevant to your business and you are progressing well towards them.  If your progress has stalled, maybe look at why that is and what you can do to jump start your improvements again.  If you don’t have any objectives and targets, 2016 may be a great time to baseline what you are currently doing so you can set meaningful objectives next year.

Monitoring and Measuring

Hand in hand with objectives and targets is monitoring and measurement.  You might want to take this year to review what data you collect and why.  For more information on using data acquisition for environmental performance, you can read our blog here.  You can also look at your legal consents.  Are you monitoring these accurately or are you relying on estimated data?  Taking a proper look at this can realise some great cost savings by making sure you are being billed on what you actually emit.

The New Year is often a time to take stock of what you do and how you can improve so it’s a perfect time to look at your environmental performance.  There are so many things you can look at and these are just a few ideas.  Have you set any environmental goals for 2016?  If you have, leave a comment in the box below.

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