How can the Scottish Government reduce its environmental impact?
By introducing an Environmental Management System (EMS) across its estate.
What is an EMS?
An EMS is designed to help improve environmental performance and the quality and effectiveness of environmental management. As well as minimising adverse environmental impacts it brings financial savings and better management controls. It can also provide a driver for developing staff skills and better motivation.
We can all do our bit to promote sustainable development and help the environment. Making a better environment for ourselves and others as well as ensuring that our actions don't adversely affect the wider environment is the responsibility of every single one of us. An Environmental Management System will help the Government address the environmental impacts of its operations positively, and provide comfortable and healthy surroundings in which to work.
The Way Forward
To ensure that we can meet the challenge of continuous improvement, senior management of the Government agreed to the development of an EMS across the whole of the Government estate. This will help us build up knowledge of, monitor and ultimately reduce our environmental impact.
Communication - the key to a successful EMS
The key is not to present this as a brand new concept but to build on the green operations of which our staff are already aware and carrying out effectively. We are:
- promoting the environmental policy and reporting on environmental performance on the Scottish Government website;
- publishing environmental articles in our in-house magazine and on the staff intranet; and
- maintaining a network of Environmental Guardians to help promote staff awareness of the Government's environmental policy, its EMS and ISO 14001.
Can We Do More?
Yes, much more. In order to communicate environmental issues to all levels of the workforce, including external bodies such as agencies, NDPBs and local authorities, the Government shall raise awareness in a number of other ways:
- seminars and presentations to inform staff of our plans to roll-out and maintain EMS and advise them of ways to work in an environmentally responsible manner, and how to play a full part in developing new ideas and initiatives;
- regularly updating the environmental management website and intranet;
- holding environmental roadshows; and
- publishing an annual report on the Government's environmental performance.