Environmental Management Systems Should Not Be Merely Used As Marketing Tools

Environmental Management Systems and Greenwashing

 

Generally, companies that adopt an Environmental Management System (EMS) based on the ISO 14000 family of international standards, and which is normally designed to help reduce the business’s environmental impact, back this up with sincere, long term investment in environmentally-friendly practices and technologies, as suggested also by a recent review.

Researchers of this latest study found that the adoption of the ISO 14001:2004 requirements for certification was not “greenwash“, but reflected in fact a move towards more sustainable practices in both European and North American companies.

Environmental management systems, such as the international standard ISO 14001:2004 and the European Union’s Environmental Management and Audit Scheme (EU EMAS III), provide a holistic approach towards reducing the environmental impacts, and the number of companies that are using these management systems has increased rapidly in the recent years.

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Most of Europeans Concerned on the Environmental Impact of Products

EU Sustainable Consuption and Production

 

A recent survey says 80% of Europeans would be prepared to change their purchasing habits and buy more environmentally-friendly products, but many feel they lack information and distrust manufacturers’ environmental claims. The European Commission Survey on the “Attitudes of Europeans towards building the single market for green products” indicates that more than three-quarters of respondents are willing to pay more for environmentally-friendly products if they were confident the products are truly environmentally-friendly (77%). Slightly more than half of EU citizens feel informed (55%) on the environmental impacts of products they buy and use.

Certainly, EU policy makers and citizens want to see more green products on shelves, but this survey shows that most of the people are confused by green claims and don’t trust them. That’s not good for consumers, and it is not rewarding those companies that are really making an effort. That’s why the EU Commission is working with companies and other stakeholders to develop the credible information consumers are looking for when they buy products. This will help open up new opportunities for innovation and investment in the green economy.

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The Strategic Role of Communication for Sustainability

 

What do the terms “communication” and “sustainability” mean when they are linked together? What do we understand by “communication”? What does “sustainability” imply for us?

People have different understandings of this terminology, depending on numerous linguistic and cultural characteristics in various countries in Europe and around the world, which can go far sometimes from the original definition of Sustainable Development set in 1987 by the UN Brundtland Commission as the “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

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How to Communicate Environmental, Health and Safety Risks to the Public

 

As tension grew between several industries and local communities at risk over environmental pollution and human health, citizens, activists and governmental agency officials began to pay closer attention to the communication practices of the medium-to-large-sized companies and multinationals in describing these dangers.

In the last thirty years risk communication studies grown steadily as a consequence of the increasing complaints regarding the quality, trustworthiness and accuracy of the industry’s reports about risk issues and the interaction with affected communities.

But, how can we define risk communication? In general, we can say that risk communication is any public or private communication that informs people about the existence, nature, form, severity or level of acceptability of a risk.

In a more specific context, especially the one in which health, safety and environmental managers operate, the meaning of risk communication, as well as policies and strategies about how to communicate minor and major environmental risks to the public and stakeholders, has become more precise in its objectives and assumptions about the different target audiences that risk communication messages need to reach.

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Create a Sustainability Policy for Your Event

On 06/03/2012, in Sustainability Communications, Sustainability Management, by Dr. Paola Fiore

 

Almost every human activity uses up precious natural resources, resulting in large-scale production of waste, increased emissions of greenhouse gases, inefficient consumption of water and energy use.

To look into a more hopeful and sustainable future, and see one that is truly environmentally and socially responsible for the future of the next generations and our planet, we can’t carry on consuming and throwing away after a single use.

However, if you underscore all your business operations and purchasing decisions having always this simple truth in mind, you will make the right decisions to bring any possible event towards sustainability.

In order to help you make your event really “green” and sustainable, we would need to delve first into all different areas of event planning (which is not the aim of this post), showing you how each management and communications system could affect the natural environment and local community, and suggesting you any possible sustainable alternatives.

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