Executive involvement lacking in environmental management

24th February 2016

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  • Business & Industry ,
  • Management ,
  • Auditing ,
  • Benchmarking ,
  • Certification



There is a lack of senior leadership involvement in environmental management in almost one-third of organisations, according to a poll.

One in three of the 110 environmental managers surveyed by consultancy WSP|Parsons Brinckerhoff said leaders in their organisation had ‘little involvement’ in environmental management. A further 30% said there was ‘moderate involvement’, and the remainder described their leaders as being ‘involved’ or ‘very involved’.

Leadership and commitment are the most important issue for delivering environmental benefits, said WSP|Parsons Brinckerhoff, pointing out that companies that want to become certified to the new international standard for environmental management, ISO 14001: 2015, would need to prove more involvement from senior management.

David Symons, environmental manager at the consultancy, said: ‘Environmental issues are still seen by many firms as a middle management, operational issue.

‘Just focusing on the day to day issues misses these wider, strategic opportunities and sells short the potential for companies to be a real force for good,’ he said.

The survey also found:

  • just 25% of respondents said they had ‘complete confidence’ in the data their environmental systems were giving them, with 8% saying they had ‘no confidence’. Strong data is a key requirement of the new standard;
  • one-third said environmental management was well integrated into their firm’s day to day operations. Full integration is another core requirement of the new standard; and
  • one-third said certification was ‘very useful’, while 20% said certification to the previous standard, ISO14001: 2004, had only been useful for the badge.

There are around 15,000 organisations in the UK certified to 14001: 2004. They have three years in which to upgrade their systems to the meet the 2015 version.


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