These 10 keys to sustainability and compliance  summarize an effective and proven approach to environmental due diligence for manufacturers, importers, wholesalers and retailers. They also form an efficient suite of auditing topics.




10 Keys to Environmental Compliance & Sustainability: A Proven Strategy for Business Owners
By K2J Environmental
  • Today, industry is faced with a growing array of environmental requirements in markets all over the world.
  • These requirements are not only government regulations, but increasingly independent environmental standards set by partners and customers
  • Further, non-government organizations like Greenpeace influence what industry does through public metrics such as its Guide to Greener Electronics.
  • 10 key actions are necessary for business to navigate these requirements successfully
  • These 10 key actions integrate government and industry perspectives on compliance and sustainability. 
  • These are proven techniques for demonstrating a commitment to compliance and sustainability to regulators, partners, shareholders and customers.


Key #1: Manage your environmental footprint through established metrics

Why? You cannot manage what you cannot measure. There are several proven ways to measure your organization’s environmental footprint. They include Lifecycle Analysis, Ecological, Energy, Carbon, Water and Waste Footprints.

Key #2: Know and control how your products are made, every material and process.

Why? Organizations unaware of the composition of their products are in no position to prove that they do not contain restricted substances. With the growing number of restricted substances, such companies struggle with compliance and waste resources on being sustainable.

Key #3: Know and control who makes your products.

Why? Your company is responsible for the compliance of its products. One weak link or unauthorized substitution in your supply chain, domestic or global, can make your product non-compliant.

Key #4: Plan ahead to achieve compliance and  sustainability within the rhythm of your business.

Why? Reacting to compliance or opportunities for sustainability instead of planning for them increases cost to the environment and the organization. Moreover, it exposes you to fines and loss of market access.

Key #5: Develop a contingency plan and practice it.

Why? New requirements can arise unexpectedly from new and existing markets. It is essential to prepare to manage them effectively as an organization, whether expected or not.

Key #6: Keep on top of the regulatory climate. – Be aware of new and proposed regulations that could affect your business. Join your industry association and participate.

Why? Your company is responsible for knowing and complying with all applicable requirements.  By staying on top of regulatory developments, it is possible to plan better for compliance. And if done right you can neutralize or even gain from new requirements.

Key #7: Consistently teach the importance of sustainability throughout the organization

Why? Awareness and buy-in of compliance sustainability must be universal throughout your organization. If everyone is not on the same page the organization risks wasting energy and money as well as being found out of compliance.

Key #8: Store environmental decisions in a knowledge management system not email.

Why? Companies that are not systematic about collecting internal decisions risk inconsistency, inaccuracy and non-compliance over time.

Key #9: Maintain ready access to environmental data.

Why? Some organizations rely on their supply chains to maintain records of environmental data. Supply chains are not reliable for data storage. A dynamic and  internal information management system is necessary.

Key #10: Coordinate health, safety and environmental requirements

Why? Requirements for health, safety and environmental sustainability are often managed separately when they should be coordinated. Information for these three areas may be collected multiple times by different people—likely, in different digital databases leading to wasteful duplication and potential inconsistencies.