|Environmental Practice @ Work|
We work to a set of Underlying Principles that underpin the EP@W learning programmes. They are drawn from the best practices of well organised workplaces that promote sustainable development.
Our principles are:
1 Improve environmental performance continuously, using a systematic approach that links to the best practice of health, safety and quality.
The environment does not stand alone from other parts of an organisation. The best practices of any organisation should be included systematically in the environmental improvement process. Health and safety based on regulation and consultation, with quality based on team working, enable organisations to develop systematic approaches.
2 Enhance legal compliance with voluntary action
While some people complain there is too much regulatory interference, there needs to be a level playing field to ensure everybody to ensure others do not undermine the best environmental practices. Voluntary systems should help organisations achieve legal requirements and enhance their performance beyond the basic requirement and not become a replacement or undermine the law.
3 Work as social partners and consult with stakeholders
At work, there are different interests, which must be satisfied if improvements to the environment are to be achieved. Management, Employees and their trade union representatives should work together in social partnership to overcome such differences. Together they can consult with other stakeholders, such as customers, suppliers and community to provide a more sustainable future.
4 Develop process of environmental practice that can apply to all environmental aspects.
Environmental practice turns 'awareness' into 'active learning' about environmental issues. Environmental Practioners progress to develop skills in environmental risk assessment, recognising environmental principles to suggest improvements and achievement, the first steps to develop in a sustainable way. This process applies to all aspects of the environment, whether waste, energy or chemicals.
5 Take Step by Step Approach
Achieving sustainble goals of an organisation will not be made overnight. There are serious long-term goals, relating to life cycle analysis and design. For people to be actively involved, there must be proper planning to enable a step-by-step approach where individuals can gain motivation, be part of improvement and gain a sense achievement in order to progress.
6 Encourage employee involvement to help the work organisation, environment and candidates.
Employees can play a key role as evidenced by studies, particularly those based toxic release inventory in the USA. They found that the most dramatic improvements in toxic waste reductions are made by employee participation through formal consultation systems. The best resource investment is capacity building of the workforce. The environment provides ideal media for discovery-based methods of active learning.
7 Apply preventative approach based on the Precautionary Principle
Health and safety, environment and sustainabilty issues all benefit from preventative approaches - like those of industrial hygiene and cleaner production. The Precautionary Principle is the ultinmate form of prevention - dont use the substance or process if there are significant risks.
8 Promote sustainable development for all, combining social, economic and environmental objectives
All organisations exist not just in the environment, but in a wider social, political and economic world. Sustainble practice should demonstrate the need to balance economic gains, social considerations and environmental improvements. They are all inter-linked and necessary for each other. Working with other organisations locally, nationally and internationally can promote a world that future generations can enjoy.
9 Encourage collective responses and individual responsibility
The UN Agenda 21 promotes working in partnerships between government, business, workers, NGOs and other key groups in order to secure a future fit for all. No individual can hope to save the world, but individuals can realise their contribution to improved environmental performance through collective action. Working together can achieve much more than working alone.
10 Demonstrate Holistic Approach
The environment is everything around us. We need to approach environmental issues in the same all encompassing way. We should deal with environmental matters as a whole, meaning practically, socially and economically, encouraging diversify of opinion and ensuring no discrimination in any form.