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What is Environmental Management Policy?

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  • Written By: D. Jeffress
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 08 November 2016
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An environmental management policy is a set of laws, restrictions, or standards designed to protect and conserve environmental resources. Many large industries and federal governments put policies into place to regulate pollution, waste dumping, and other activities that could result in negative impacts on the environment. An effective environmental management policy clearly outlines rules and expectations for people to follow and includes the reasons why conservation is important.

When forming an environmental management policy, authorities usually rely on information provided by environmental scientists, geologists, and conservation biologists. Through careful observation and experimentation, scientists gather data about the environmental impacts of people and businesses. They analyze soil, water, and air samples, observe changes in ecosystems, and predict future outcomes if policies are not put into place. Scientists create detailed reports and submit them to companies or governments, highlighting their expert opinions on the best ways to limit environmental risks.

A government environmental management policy is designed to regulate the activity of industries. Based on statistics and recommendations from conservation scientists, policymakers pass laws that clearly define acceptable and unacceptable practices. Laws are set in place to cap emissions and pollution, mitigate the use of dangerous chemicals, and enforce appropriate waste disposal procedures. Governments often regulate the amount and type of pesticides that can be used in agriculture, and place strict limits on forestry and fishing companies. By imposing strict laws and standards, a government promotes new innovations in cleaner fuels and industrial practices.

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In addition to regulating industrial practices, government environmental management policies are frequently extended to include the activity of all individuals within a society. Common environmental management policy items include regulations on vehicle emissions, littering, and landfill use. Local governments often staff specially-trained officers to enforce environmental policies, such as fish and game wardens. The goal of an environmental management policy is to educate and motivate citizens to be more aware of their surroundings. People can come to understand the potential impacts they can have in protecting the environment for future generations.

Many businesses create their own environmental management policies that go beyond legal restrictions. Companies often try to promote environmentally-friendly practices, such as reducing pollution and emissions by employing alternative fuel sources. Some businesses take the practice farther by encouraging employees to aid in cleanup efforts, like picking up litter or carpooling to work. An environmentally-conscious business owner might create his or her own policy, or bring in private consultants to determine the most effective means of setting standards and educating employees.

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SteamLouis
Post 3

@burcidi-- As far as I know, the U.S. creates the most trash in the world and actually sends trash to China because we are running out of places to put it in this country.

We are one of the most developed countries in the world and if environmental management depended on development, we wouldn't have so much trash to deal with would we?

Plus, Japan, German and the UK are next on the list for producing trash. They are all developed countries!

I think that there are a lot of pressures on policymakers in the U.S. from important industries not to impose very strict environmental policies that would hurt them financially. So, really, environmental management policy has more to do with the political system and its relationship with the various industries in that country.

turquoise
Post 2

I work for a company that has its own environmental management policies. We call the company's activities that has an affect on nature, the environmental footprint of the company. The less the environmental footprint, the better.

Most recently, we made a move to reduce the amount of packaging we use for our products and also to use more recycled materials for packaging. We are trying to reduce emissions and the amount of resources we rely on.

I really think that we are doing an excellent job with our policies. I hope more companies will follow suit to have a smaller environmental footprint.

burcidi
Post 1

I think that governments only care about the environment and start putting policies in place when the country has reached a certain wealth and level of development. I'm not blaming them for doing that though.

I care about the environment and I do think that it's the responsibility of the national government in any country to create policies that protect that environment. It is done for the benefit of everyone who lives there and actually for the benefit of the world because things like pollution don't have boundaries.

But developing nations are struggling with a lot of problems. I think they have to concentrate on creating more industries and jobs, improving education and health care, and getting more investment into the country. It's normal for environmental management policy to fall to the end of their list.

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