An environmental control plan is a document that contains the procedure for controlling environmental conditions in an enclosed space. It includes details of how to maintain these conditions, including the location of equipment and operation procedures. It can be used in any industry, but it is mainly used in food production and manufacturing because of the high risk for pollution. Many companies are looking for environmental control plans to help them comply with regulations. Climate change is a significant concern, and businesses must know how to protect the environment from their organization’s activities.
Types of Environmental control plan :
- Construction phase- The Construction Phase Control Plan is an essential document for every construction project. It provides information on the environmental management strategies in place and how they will be implemented to protect the environment during the construction phase of a project. The plan will help ensure compliance with regulations and assist the contractor in managing potential risks to human health and the environment.
- Operation phase- The Operational Phase Environmental Control Plan is a document that outlines the procedures for environmental management during the operational phase of activity. It also defines responsibilities and authorities, specifies emergency plans, and provides guidance on reporting potential incidents. This plan covers all aspects of environmental protection from start to finish, including the disposal of hazardous substances. The project should be reviewed by personnel with knowledge in toxicology, hazardous material management, and environmental protection.
- Decommissioning phase – The decommissioning phase environmental management plan is a detailed report which outlines the methods and procedures for managing the environment during the decommissioning process. It identifies potential risks, assesses likely impacts of those risks, and measures proposed countermeasures to address any adverse effects. The plan should include all aspects of working in an area that has been contaminated with hazardous substances or materials.
Purpose of environmental control plan :
To create a safe working environment for employees (i.e., avoid noise and air pollution).
- Encourage and conduct developmental activities to achieve ecological standards
- Conduct research and development to search for innovative methods for a cleaner and better environment.
- Identify environmental risks related to any proposed or existing activity and draft specific measures to mitigate them.
- Potential benefits of an environmental control plan
- Save unnecessary expenditure- Following the policies and procedures will help you manage your waste and resources more effectively.
- Better compliance- An effective environmental control plan will reduce the risks of fines and legal issues from regulatory authorities, which will protect the company’s goodwill.
- Marketing- Many organizations and government authorities prefer to work with companies that have strict environmental measures. This will be crucial in winning contracts for large projects and improve public relations.
- Funding- Investors and shareholders are keen to invest in companies that have upgraded to the latest green technologies and increased their awareness of reducing their carbon footprint. You will gain a competitive advantage that will make raising funds from banks and other financial institutions easier.
People involved in creating Environmental control plan :
- Project proponent- A project proponent is an individual who proposes a plan to implement environmental control. They may be an advocate, lobbyist, consultant, governmental agency, or other interested parties. The role of the project proponent is to produce arguments in favor of their proposal and persuade those with power to make decisions about it. A project proponent provides services that will help you find out what your options are for environmental control measures so that you can make informed decisions about which ones are best suited for your needs.
- Environmental control officer- Environmental Control Officer, a.k.a ECOs, is responsible for ensuring that the environment is balanced and healthy by performing tasks such as monitoring water quality, regulating air quality, and maintaining safety standards. They are hired by the project proponent depending upon the duration of the project. These professionals work in a variety of industries, such as manufacturing plants and construction sites
- Contractor- The contractor is responsible for the onsite implementation of the environmental control plan. He reports to the project manager for any environmental issues related to the project. The contractor can also appoint sub-contractors to help him in his activities. They have to provide a statement about how the environmental plan will be implemented to achieve the objectives.
How to create an environmental control plan (ECP)?
- Define your purpose- The first step in ECP is to figure out what you want from it. Jot down your goals and refer to them as you move ahead. Ask yourself; How are you going to improve your environmental safety measures? Make sure you keep your clients and stakeholders updated about your plans and take their feedback for improvement.
- Identify legal requirements- Once your purpose is defined, identify the environmental standards set down by the regulatory authorities to prevent any fines or lawsuits in the future. Design your ECP while addressing all the legal requirements.
- Define responsibilities- Once you have your policy drafted, it is time to implement them. Assign specific targets and commitments to various positions from the senior level management to the lower-level environment staff. The responsibilities and actions of your team must be consistent with your environment plan objectives. Identify different skills required and bring in new talent as everyone has their importance in achieving the goals.
- Create proper document control- At every stage of ECP implementation, document every step and corrective action taken to achieve your objectives. This will save time on creating new ECP’s and prevent any wrong activities in the future. Create processes to maintain records so that they are used at the right time when any problem occurs.
- Increase employee awareness- Conduct training and awareness programs to promote your organization’s efforts in the environment’s well-being. Discuss how small actions from every employee can save the organization’s resources even if they are not a part of ECP. Train them on various aspects of environmental policy, any modified procedures, and how to implement them.