Strategies For Developing An Effective Sustainability Policy

Why Developing a Sustainability Policy is Important

BHP Billiton is an Anglo-Australian multinational organisation which operates in metals, mining and petroleum industry. Following are six strategies which can be used by the enterprise to minimise resource use, reduce the use of toxic material and hazardous chemical use and employ life cycle approach.

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  • The company should conduct a waste assessment to understand what efforts will enable it to minimise resource use. The operations of the company are situated in 25 countries, and it should assess all these locations to identify different waste stream and characterise each stream. The enterprise should calculate the costs incurred in various aspects of handling waste such as labour, energy, disposal, treatment and others (Epstein, 2018). This is a positive screening approach since it will enable the company to identify different reasons due to which its costs are increasing.
  • BHP should improve its purchasing strategies, and it should reduce waste by buying recycle materials. The raw materials used by the company in its production process should come from recycling materials, and it should also find alternative raw materials. In case of purchase of mining equipment, the company should purchase “long life” products to use them for longer period and reuse them as well. This comes under the positive screening approach because it will reduce the use of toxic material and hazardous chemical.
  • BHP should improve its storage options. It should minimise storage to save money and keep its storage clean which will enable it to employ lifecycle management approach which is a positive screening approach.
  • BHP should conserve energy by investing in greenhouse gases to avoid the burning of fossil fuel which minimises the resource use in business. It is a positive screening approach because the corporation has a bad reputation of polluting the environment which will be eliminated by this strategy (Lodhia & Martin, 2014).
  • BHP should conserve water by using alternative ways for its production. This is a negative screening approach because the alternative ways can result in polluting the environment such as use of electricity.
  • The company should adopt 3 R’s strategy which provides that it should reduce, reuse and recycle to limit the use of toxic material and hazardous chemical and establish an employ lifecycle management approach. This is a positive screening approach since the corporation will invest in corporations which provide alternate facilities and it will enable the company in positively influencing its public image.

I will have a calm reaction to this situation to evaluate what mistakes I made in work. I will ask my boss to provide me training or guidance so that I can address the mistakes which I made and resolve them by improving my knowledge.

Following is the environmental sustainability policy of Wesfarmers.


1 Month

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3 months

6 Months

12 Months

Converting LED Lights


All the locations within three cities

All the locations in Australia

All the locations of the company

Reducing waste through recycling

Adopting the policies in the headquarters

All the locations in Victoria along with two other states

All the locations in Australia adopt recycling policies

All locations of the company adopted a recycling structure

Supporting the development in local communities

Supporting local communities near the headquarter

Supporting local communities in three states

Supporting local communities and aboriginal communities in Australia

Providing support to local communities in all locations

The internal audit team should include the internal audit that has expertise in the field of accountancy, finance and other field related to the operations of the company. These people are involved because they have the expertise to oversee the work of others and evaluate it correctly. While investigating the leaking of drum, the first question would be who is in charge and what procedure do staff members follow in such situation (Pizzini, Lin & Ziegenfuss, 2014). Why has no one noticed the leaking within reasonable time? The written evidence of when the drum was purchase and whether it was faulty at the time will be taken along with why no action was taken?

  1. Understanding the specific risks faced by the organisation to make informed decisions to address performance variances which is an integrated approach.
  2. Learning from what other corporations are doing right in their environmental sustainability policy which is a comparative approach.
  3. Increasing awareness regarding these issues between different parties to increase their contribution which is a collaborative approach.

The information should be gathered from a range of sources which include management review of vision and mission statement of the business. These policies encompass three bottom lines of financial, social and environmental objectives. Moreover, data from Workplace Health and Safety policies should be collected. Other sources of information include waste management, human resource management, and integrated marketing communication policies.

  • Proper monitoring and reporting procedure should be adopted by the company to continuously evaluate the effectiveness of the policy.
  • A committee should be established which continuously check the policy to amend its terms and ensure that it is fulfilling the objectives of the enterprise.

Review on a regular basis can ensure that the company is able to amend its policies as per the required changes. It also enables them to track its performance and impact on the organisation without which its effectiveness cannot be determined.

Sustainable policies are continuously evolving to address the relevant issues accordingly. The policy should be modified when new techniques, ideas, and theories are presented to improve the policy and procedure.

  1. Defining the scope of the sustainable policy
  2. Gathering information from a wide range of policies
  3. Identifying and consult with stakeholders
  4. Including appropriate strategies for minimising resource use, reducing toxic material and hazardous chemical use, and employing life cycle management
  5. Making recommendations for policy options based on cost, effectiveness, and timeframes
  6. Developing a policy which reflects on the organisation’s commitment to make sustainability an integral part of the business planning and opportunity
  7. Deciding and agreeing on different methods for implementation, performance indicators and outcomes

While communication the policy, it is important to bring stakeholders on board by genuinely listening to their ideas. It is important to collect their feedback to provide valuable information which assists in forming a successful sustainable policy. The awareness regarding the policy should be communicated to employees, customers, and other key stakeholders. Firstly, the policy should be publically advertised through sources such as website. It should be available publically, and it should be presented and discussed with the staff members (Blok, Wesselink, Studynka & Kemp, 2015). It should be hanged in places where it can be seen which include front of the office or reception, staff room, notice board or poster. The policy should be included in workplace communication, and discussion and on-going training should be provided for implementation of the policy and its expected outcomes.

Identifying a Vision and Setting Goals

The implementation plan should be strategic plan in which thorough details of the plan should be included. Following are the steps for the implementation of the policy.

  1. Research regarding key elements which should be included in the policy on the internet, trade magazine, similar business and discussion with people in the business
  2. Developing the policy options to put to stakeholder and cover many issues which include energy reduction, reuse and recycling, water conservation and others
  3. The stakeholders who will be involved in the process should know how the policy will affect them to think about stakeholders and not leave them out of the policy
  4. The company should organise policy development stakeholder workshop under which great ideas should be collected through consultation and how to implement them in the business
  5. The corporation should develop a meeting agenda in order to run a stakeholder meeting to think about various ways to make the policy work
  6. Lastly, the company should develop and implement a promotional strategy without which the strategy cannot be effectively implemented in the organisation

Reviewing the policy require that the corporation should conduct audits of the documentation and also do site visits in order to check the accuracy and validity of the information contained in the documents (Ones & Dilchert, 2012). While conducting the review of the policy, a range of questions should be asked from the staff members to assess how the system is operating. Following are example of some questions:

  • Does the system meet the requirement?
  • Whether a procedure is established and whether staff members understand such process?
  • Is corrective actions are taken when needed to follow any incidents or emergencies?
  • Whether targets and objectives are audited on time?

Furthermore, feedback should be collected to review the policy after identifying variety of audiences which include staff members, management, internal auditors and others. The feedback collected from these parties should be reviewed to evaluate the effectiveness of the policy and address issues relating to the same.

The purpose of Victorian Environmental Protection Act 1970 is given under section 1A of the act which provides that its goal is to create a legislative framework which is focused on protecting the environment in Victoria by implementing environmental principles. These principles are followed by organisations operating in Victoria which are given in sections 1B to 1L (Legislation, 2018). Thus, the main objective of this act is to protect the environment and its resources to develop a sustainable approach in Victoria.

At the time of establishment of the MacVille, the same has developed a strategic plan to promote sustainable practice. The company has made and developed some sustainability initiative; however, the company is required to check the efficiency of those initiatives once as there is a scope of improvement. By categorizing water and electricity as low expenses and ignoring the waste management process company failed to maintain a suitable development. Further, there are some other areas in which improvement can be made. Use of glasses, plastics, cardboard, and papers can be reduced. By looking after the provided case study, this would not be wrong to state that the company has promoted itself as zero footprint environment-friendly corporations yet, there is a scope of improvement. Modification in existing policies and plans is a required initiative at the end of the company in the area of sustainability development.

A best business practice model is that which not only focuses on the profits. It is general that the first motive of every organization must be profit making, but the same should not be the only motive. In the best business practice model, companies diversify their focus from financial development to corporate social responsibility. In case of a business sector that related to the development and processing of coffee similar to MacVille, a best practice model is that where it is considered that

Key Elements of an Effective Sustainability Policy

Farmers are growing coffee beans in an eco-friendly manner

All the farmers are treated equally in terms of pay and wages.

Effective waste management process is there, and the same is working.

All the ethical practice is in place during the whole business process.

In the current policies of the company, there are many shortfalls. Firstly, there is no proper code of conduct in respect of the usage of resources. What about the unnecessary and greater use of useful resources like electricity? No code is there to control such issues. In conjunction with this, the company has not a proper recycling programme in respect to its waste resources. No facility is there for compositing. Further, the cups, plates, and straws, that every outlet of the company is not safe from the viewpoint of environment that can bring a negative impact and failure to the sustainability policies of the company. The company has an HVAC system in place, but the same is manual that probably leads issue of high expenses and can affect the suitability policy if the company. By looking after the aforementioned issue, this can be stated that there are many shortfalls in the existing procedure and policy documents and a vast scope is there for improvement.

As discussed in the aforesaid section, it is far clear that the existing plans and policies are not efficient. Now the issue is to check the scope of changes. According to the new policies, the company will focus on a plan that consists of interest of all stakeholder including shareholder, government, environment, and suppliers. In order to ensure the sustainable development company can stop using plastic products such as plates, cups, straws, and mugs. Further, the company can ensure such development by directing and advising every employee to use dual-flush capability toilets.

Savings of natural resources is a mist demanding thing to do in the area of sustainable development and hence new policy will include the direction for employees in respect of using such resources and will educate them to switch off the air conditioner and electricity.

In addition to this, the company is required to ensure that the suppliers from whom the company is purchasing coffee beans are associated with Rainforest Alliance or Fair Trade Foundation. By developing such plans and policies, MacVille can ensure the success of sustainable development initiatives

Sustainable policies, as the name suggests, are the policies focusing on sustainable practice areas like climate protection, clean energy, green building, and others. Wesfarmers is amongst the top 10 companies of Australia, and is serious towards sustainable policies and has a dedicated approach towards this concept.

Implementing the Policy

Sustainable Policy for Wesfarmers:

The goal of Wesfarmers is to conduct its operations based on the 10 principles drawn by the company, which are focused towards its impact on environment and community, along with the five other areas of governance, community, sourcing, people, and environment (Wesfarmers, 2018).

The objectives for each of these categories, along with their commitments towards each of the stakeholder groups, can be highlighted through the given picture:

In order to promote the policy to stakeholders, different methods will be used. Employees and other stakeholders inside the organisation will be notified through a meeting and distribution of documents. Outside stakeholders including customers and shareholders will be notified through the website of the company and emails will be sent to shareholders. In order to inform the responsibilities assigned, the manager of each department will be given the duty to share this information with the parties.

Meetings and sessions will be conducted with employees to tell them about the workplace sustainability policy. Employees will have the option to ask questions to understand the policy clearly to avoid ambiguity in their duties and role in the policy. Clients will be informed through the website where they can send their issues and queries to the customer support department to resolve their queries. The strategy for monitoring and reviewing of the program will be adopted in order to continue improving the resource efficiency. Sustainability representatives will be appointed who will be responsible for keeping the record of continuous improvements in sustainability approaches and clearly communicating them in the organisation.

To know the result and effectiveness of the workplace sustainability policy, documenting outcomes will be necessary along with collection of feedback from key personnel and stakeholders. The ‘Energy and greenhouse management toolkit’ which is provided by sustainability Victoria will be used for tracking and monitoring the energy consumption in the corporation. It will assist the company in investigating the success of the workplace sustainability policy. For monitoring records in order to identify trends in them for requiring remedial action, TRACE reporting will be used. TRACE stands for transparency, relevance, accuracy, consistency, and entirety. While modifying policy and procedures, continuous improvement of ESP is important. This will be done by consultation with relevant stakeholders which include the board of director, CEO, head of departments, team leaders and other specialists.


Blok, V., Wesselink, R., Studynka, O., & Kemp, R. (2015). Encouraging sustainability in the workplace: a survey on the pro-environmental behaviour of university employees. Journal of cleaner production, 106, 55-67.

Epstein, M. J. (2018). Making sustainability work: Best practices in managing and measuring corporate social, environmental and economic impacts. Abingdon: Routledge.

Legislation. (2018). Environment Protection Act 1970. Retrieved from:$FILE/70-8056a172.pdf

Lodhia, S., & Martin, N. (2014). Corporate sustainability indicators: an Australian mining case study. Journal of cleaner production, 84, 107-115.

Ones, D. S., & Dilchert, S. (2012). Environmental sustainability at work: A call to action. Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 5(4), 444-466.

Pizzini, M., Lin, S., & Ziegenfuss, D. E. (2014). The impact of internal audit function quality and contribution on audit delay. Auditing: A Journal of Practice & Theory, 34(1), 25-58.

Wesfarmers. (2018). Our Approach To Sustainability. Retrieved from: