Protect the Environment

Posted 3/30/2016

Does your work impact the environment?

As people are becoming more aware of the need to maintain the diversity of life, sustain renewable resources, and protect human and environmental health, organizations are putting more effort into conducting business in ways that protects the environment. As part of an organizationís efforts to protect the environment, individual employees have important roles and responsibilities. 

Employees often identify and carry out the first response to environmental issues. Their ability and commitment to protecting the environment is important to achieving the organizationís environmental goals. To be effective at fulfilling their roles to protect the environment, employees need:

         to understand the effort their organizations put forth to protect
the environment

         be continually aware about how their actions and the conditions in
the workplace affect the environment


To protect the environment, employees can use a structured thinking strategy to identify and respond to environmental issues. The advantage of using a thinking strategy is that it can be applied to any job position and used before, during, and after work. The thinking strategy to protect the environment that I advocate uses questions to address eleven issues important to workers and their organizations, such as:

         pollutant release rates

         measuring and monitoring pollutant releases

         controlling the impact on the environment

         safe disposal of wastes

         conserving energy

Environmental Issues

The wording of the questions can be customized to fit work and/or technical processes so that the thinking strategy is useful for many disciplines and workplaces. All of the questions directly or indirectly relate to identifying, controlling, preventing, or responding to activities and incidents that affect the quality of air, water, and land.

To learn more about the structured thinking strategy to protect the environment, refer to the book EnviroThink. It uses an educational approach to explain the reasons organizations want to demonstrate they care about the environment and provides specific exercises to apply the thinking strategy to the eleven environmental issues addressed by the strategy. The book is primarily targeted to line workers and supervisors.

Do you think a structured thinking strategy is a useful approach for employees to consider how their work impacts on the environment and to take action to protect the environment when workplace conditions change?

Gordon Shand is President of HDC Human Development Consultants Ltd. He has 35 years of experience designing and developing educational and training programs that have excellent practical value and contribute to the customerís business success.