Environmental action plans: Tips and templates for managing your site effectively
About environmental action plans
A steady increase in general environmental consciousness and sentiment, along with some catastrophic headline grabbing incidents in the industries have resulted in a shift towards more environmentally friendly practices and more concern over the level of impact works are having on the environment.
Today, companies in the industries must be proactive about their environmental plans and practices. It's not enough to respond swiftly to disasters or figure it out on the spot. Environmental implementation is a core function for companies with additional resources and manpower.
The trend of being more environmentally conscious along with an increase in the resources involved in environmental endeavours has also seen a rise in the number and frequency of environmental actions plans.
The steps required to create your action plan
Environmental action plans shouldn't originate out of thin air. They should be created after some form of actual diagnosis and hypothesis.
The first step to creating your action plan should be to take stock of the current situation in your organisation or on site.
A proper environmental evaluation will surface some of the problems which you can look to action, and find areas for improvement.
Once you have conducted an evaluation and understand your current performance, you can brainstorm and hypothesise about the problems which you can solve. Make sure the problem are solvable (within the constraints of your resources) so that you can then assign and carry out your environmental action plan in order to improve performance.
Implementing your environmental action plan with an environmental action plan form
Like most things which happen in the industries, environmental action plans often take the form of a form. Environmental action plan templates can be fully comprehensive and cover strategic areas of the business, or they can be small and action oriented.
If you are looking at your environmental performance and efforts at an organisational level, you will have a heavier document which covers your full plan, which can be broken down into a number of action plan forms which can be captured and actioned on site.
The environmental action plan template you see below is used on construction and other industrial sites in order to action specific areas of the site.
Documenting these problems or areas for improvement brings light to the environmental problem or hazard, and enables the inspector to share the current problems with engineers or the management team in order to action and fix them.
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The two main elements of any good environmental action plan
There are two main elements to any comprehensive environmental action plan, which together form the structure of the plan. These are the:
- Strategic component - which focuses on the 'why'. The objectives goals and strategies of the action plan
- Resource component - Which focuses on the implementation of the plan - The human and economical resources which will be applied to the plan, as well as specific projects and programs which will feature in the plan
Your company should be able to quantify both components of the plan, dictating what success looks like through tangible metrics or outcomes, as well as the actual inputs and resources required to achieve this objective.
Other environmental action plans are more execution oriented. On many construction sites, an environmental action plan may include a few actions which need to be taken in order to move forward with the project or mitigate damage to the environment.
Streamline your processes with an environmental planning app to save time and effort.
Making environmental performance a part of your culture
As has been mentioned, environmental teams and engineers are becoming more commonplace on sites all over the world. And the environmental function is becoming more important to industrial companies, governments and society as a whole.
Creating and implementing environmental action plans is a great way to ensure that your environmental performance is always improving. It's not necessary to evaluate your entire organisation and then implement a massive strategic action plan to solve all of your problems.
It's smarter to begin with small action plans documented and actioned at site level.
Combine these every day tasks and endeavours with a broader strategic and resource strategy around protecting the environment, and you will be on your way to creating environmentally friendly projects - and using your environmentally friendly status as a competitive advantage as well as a force for good.