Why is it so important to understand industry-specific legislation and regulation, and government environmental policy-related activities? Because it is the first prerequisite to consider in order to meet the abundance of requirements and obligations under environmental legislation at national and international level.
The second precondition to be compliant with all major environmental laws and sustainability standards is to have access to a comprehensive and up-to-date environmental compliance support on a regular basis.
A third requirement is needed to comply with environmental and sustainability legislation: find out which laws apply to an organization, what steps, resources and tools are needed in order to be compliant with the most important environmental legislations, regulations and procedures.
According to these three fundamental statements, any good employee should help his or her own organization to be compliant with environmental laws and sustainability standards, as well as any good governance of any executive management and board should develop an environmental compliance framework to reduce regulatory violations and keep stakeholders informed.
This regulatory framework should be based on a set of environmental compliance methodologies, policies, procedures and specific sustainability training programs for internal employees and external staff.
Any environmental compliance framework should be integrated with the corporate compliance program in a long term perspective to be most effective and get the best results.
Additional environmental and social sustainability regulatory challenges should be taken into consideration to reduce the most significant risks to the natural environment and human health.
In particular, organizations with local and global operations should implement:
- Specific environmental inspections to monitor compliance regularly;
- Internal and external environmental sustainability auditing activities;
- Environmental sustainability self-disclosure and enforcement.
Regardless of the environmental regulatory framework used, based on the kind of industry, size, complexity, culture and operation of the organization, some important tasks need to be implemented as part of the program.
To help ensure compliance with environmental laws and sustainability regulations, regular communication channels need be established as well to inform employees and management about the organization’s state of the environmental regulatory compliance process and progress.
In the development of an environmental regulatory compliance program, communication channels are fundamental to help the organization to be compliant with environmental laws and regulations, as well as with international sustainability standards.
Choosing the appropriate channels of communication for promoting an environmental compliance program within the organization requires to:
- Appoint responsibility roles to high-level personnel to supervise compliance with established standards, policies and procedures;
- Create compliance standards, policies and procedures to be followed by employees and other company representatives;
- Effectively inform about compliance standards, policies and procedures to all internal employees and other external staff;
- Develop compliance training programs to ensure that employees and other staff are aware of environmental compliance responsibilities.
There are several benefits of being compliant with environmental laws and sustainability standards, and among these the most important are:
- Understanding of the organization’s sustainability performance and the most completed environmental information gathering;
- Identification of specific environmental laws, regulations and standards relevant to the organization at local and global level;
- Higher sustainability performance according to a more efficient compliance management system of the entire organization;
- Advanced systems and procedures for ensuring ongoing sustainability compliance and improvement within the organization;
- Best practices of environmental regulatory compliance and appropriate internal environmental audit in the organization;
- Measuring results of environmental regulatory management, compliance assurance, and correlation with programs and budgets;
- Improved environmental communication mechanisms and products, and enhanced reporting and information disclosure.
We help our clients and partners address the most pressing economical, political, social and environmental challenges. If you want to learn more about our sustainability practices, please Contact Us for an initial introductory consultation to discuss what management and communications systems you may need for complete sustainability legislative and regulatory compliance, and better measurement and reporting of TBL performance.