Principles are created to help companies maintain and succeed in their businesses in all markets through all circumstances.
Top management recognizes the priority of environmental management as an integral part for its business success, social responsibility, and sustainability. It leads by establishing vision, policy, objectives, programs, and practices to ensure its commitment to the prevention of pollution and that environmental performance is integrated in the way they do business, throughout the organization.
Senior management clearly articulates the commitment to prevention of pollution and environmental performance in its vision and policy statements. Managers then formulate a plan to fulfill the policy. This starts with the identification of risks tied with environmental aspects (cause) of its activities, products, and services that it can control and have influence over that could cause an impact (effect) on the environment. It is important to identify risks not only in day-to-day processes but also prior to new projects or programs being launched and the decommissioning or closing of a site. Extending environmental influence into value-chain implications for procurement also needs to be evaluated.
The board of directors needs to be aware of the operational risks tied not only with quality but also with environment and health and safety.
Environmental performance is accomplished by identifying and reducing environmental impacts by use of processes, practices, techniques, materials, products, services, or energy, to avoid, reduce, or control the creation, emission, or discharge of any type of pollutant or waste. This can include some of the following: source reduction or elimination; process/ product/service changes; efficient use of resources; and material and energy substitution, reuse, recovery, recycling, reclamation, and treatment.
In the planning stage of an environmental management system, objectives and targets need to be established by top management for strategic plans to improve and prevent environmental impacts, whether internally or externally. Managers need to understand the risks, opportunities and stakeholder expectations to set objectives. These objectives need to be supported by programs, or, as business understands them, as projects, outlining the designation of responsibility and the means and time frame needed to complete the programs. These need to be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure that completion and results meet the required objectives and strategic planning.
The organization ensures that the significant environmental aspects are considered not only when establishing and implementing its environmental management system but also when it is maintained. Controls are put in place for prevention of pollution through operational controls and adequate resources.
Communicating the importance of effective environmental management is crucial so that all employees view the management of “risks” as part of their daily responsibilities and the importance of continual improvement.
During the company's management review of its management systems (MS) top management will review its commitment to prevention of pollution, assessing continuing suitability and effectiveness of its operations for prevention of pollution, opportunities for improvement, and the need for changes to the MS.
-  The following quotes on principles are from Pilot Performance Resources Management Inc.'s speaking series on “Driving Business Sustainability,” helping companies maintain and succeed in their business in all markets through all circumstances.