By on February 11, 2011 - CSR Blog

Whether it’s reducing the consumption of energy, better management of waste water, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions or the rehabilitation of degraded lands, there’s a variety of methods companies can implement to minimize their impact on the planet.

But how can a company know if its efforts are enough or even adequate in terms of environmental actions?

Enters the broad field of environmental performances. This concept relates to both the internal and external processes in a company. To help assess this performance, several companies are developing environmental performance indicators or EPIs. These can be employed to determine a company’s level of compliance with standards and legislation in place.

They can also help to generate data on the processes and on the environmental impacts of the company’s activities and therefore provide managers with a clear vision of problems and assist them in making strategic decisions. Finally, EPIs allow comparing a variety of data over many years which is a considerable asset in the context of continuous improvement.

The main challenge is to obtain reliable information necessary for making strategic decisions regarding the protection of the environment. To do so, companies can look for information management systems that specialize in the assessment and analysis of environmental performances.

These tools offer the opportunity to develop, coordinate and communicate strategic environmental priorities. They also highlight critical issues to management, improve resource management and measure the impact of environmental actions. An environmental performance management system also has the advantage of helping to improve the financial performance of the company by identifying opportunities to reduce environmental impacts and determining the resulting financial gains.

Caroline Chaumont, Boréalis