The Green Dragon Environmental Standard is a fresh approach to environmental management, legislation and compliance. It provides a stepping stone approach for businesses to improve their environmental performance and work towards recognised accreditation.
To demonstrate further the benefits of adopting environmentally aware business practices, the Envirowise programme issued a new Welsh based case study. The case study is based upon good energy and environmental management techniques employed by Fulleon Ltd, a fire alarm specialist company based in Cwmbran, and their resultant savings.
'The Welsh assembly government is serious in its commitment to sustainable development,' said Mr Griffiths at the 'Environmental Management - A Fresh Approach' conference in Cardiff.
'Good environmental management is vital for Welsh businesses to ensure their business sustainability.
'The Green Dragon Standard offers environmental management systems relevant to the specific needs of individual companies, and will reward action taken to achieve environmental improvements. The NetRegs tool will complement this by clarifying the issues of environmental legislation and compliance.'
The deputy minister concluded: 'Welsh businesses and business support providers are playing a large part towards ensuring sustainable development. The Welsh assembly recognises that the society in which we live, the strength of its economy and the quality of its environment are inseparable. Economic growth will not be sustained where energy and environmental protection issues are ignored.'
The Green Dragon Standard comprises five stages, each incorporating the key elements of: Planning, Taking Action, Checking Progress and Reviewing Achievements to realise Continual Environmental Improvement.
Participating companies gain recognition for effective environmental management without necessarily adopting a formalised environmental management system.
Companies achieving any level of the Green Dragon Standard receive a certificate demonstrating the level of the company's achievements and commitment to environmental management.
Companies achieving levels 3, 4 & 5 also receive the Green Dragon Plaque and are able to display the Green Dragon Logo on their stationery and marketing materials in recognition of reaching these advanced stages of environmental management. Displaying the Green Dragon logo demonstrates to suppliers and other interested parties that the company is committed to environmental management.
Net Regs is the product of a pilot project aiming to provide practical assistance to help managers of a small or medium sized business located in England or Wales comply with environmental responsibilities.
NetRegs, an Internet based desk tool, suggests certain actions that a Business may wish to instigate, follow and/or disseminate through its workforce but it is not to be taken as being prescriptive. In addition, it does not describe in any detail the legislation or what other parties are required to do (eg environmental regulators responsible for its administration). All of these matters are left to the legislation to speak for itself.
NetRegs is designed specifically to help with the environmental legislation affecting manufacturing and service sector operations. It does not, therefore, embrace legislation specifically applying to planning, agriculture, tourism, transportation, construction or health and safety.
Envirowise offers free, independent advice for UK businesses on practical ways to minimise waste and convert turnover into profit through best practice guides, videos, software and seminars.
The NAW have secured an Envirowise co-ordinator for Wales, to ensure that services are delivered in Wales for Welsh businesses.