Continuous improvement of sustainability
By communicating their environmental performances or by adopting international standards, companies have the option of taking sustainability one step further.
Companies which have become familiar with sustainable manufacturing have the option of expanding their knowledge and taking advantage of the measures introduced using additional measures.
Going further to improve sustainability
The various steps for improving a company’s sustainability described in the OECD guidelines are not exhaustive. Additional options exist to strengthen environmental performance.
- Develop indicators. Not all of a company’s activities are necessarily covered by the 18 indicators considered. It is therefore necessary to define your priorities periodically, in order to identify the company’s requirements along with the tools necessary to meet those requirements.
Standard 14031 of the ISO (International Organization for Standardization) provides general information about the conception and use of the environmental performance evaluation and about the identification and selection of sustainability indicators:
Strengthen links between management and sustainability
Environmental and corporate issues concern several internal management functions within a company. Preparing to tackle these issues makes it possible to reduce risks and improve performance. There are numerous options for defining your environmental strategy:
- Manage and improve your performance systematically. The adoption of an environmental management system (EMS) allows a global approach to organizational structure, planning and resources to be mobilized for development, implementation and continuation of sustainability policies. The reference frameworks in this field are standard ISO 14001 and the European Union's Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS).
Communicate sustainability performances
Different types of actor can benefit from better understanding a company's environmental performances. Several options are available to respond to and benefit from these requirements:
- Report pollutant releases according to national registers. All OECD countries and several other States have introduced, or are in the process of introducing, a Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (PRTR) to quantify releases of hazardous chemical substances and pollutants into the environment. This is a national or regional database of pollutant releases, constituted from reports submitted by companies to the authorities. These data are then made public. Some information has to be reported. Swiss companies can obtain information by consulting the Swiss Pollutant and Transfer Register, SwissPRTR.