How to Achieve Environmental Compliance: An In-Depth Guide

How to Achieve Environmental Compliance: An In-Depth Guide

No matter what industry you’re in, it’s important that you get a handle on your environmental issues. 

Global environment management is worth more than $8 billion as an industry today. Learning how to keep your business in compliance is one of the most important matters to consider. 

These tips will help you when you’re interested in environmental compliance and how to achieve it. 

Understand Regulations and Compliance 

Make sure that you are first aware of the regulations you’re beholden to in your industry and overall. From there, you can tackle Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards and others. Consider environmental regulations from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards. 

Look into the Carbon Trust Standard to learn more about the emissions measurements and limitations you should stick to. If you’re going to stay in compliance, make sure that you get clarity on whatever regulations are in place. Having an environmental compliance system will keep you on track with less effort. 

Consider Green Certifications

Compliance obligations are a start, but also consider other certifications.

The United States Green Building Council’s standards across industries. These are explained in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification standards. LEED certifications deal with a variety of elements of the building, such as electricity, water, and the way that waste is disposed of. It involves monitoring climate change and keeping your water sources clean. The certification also deals with preserving biodiversity. 

By going through a list of protocols to keep up your LEED certification, you’ll appreciate benefits like:

  • You will save money by cutting costs
  • It’ll help you lower your carbon emissions
  • LEED certifications can help you keep your indoor air clean
  • Optimizing your use of water
  • The workforce will become more productive and efficient

Take the time to handle your LEED certification application. Once approved, you can use this certification to your advantage. LEED certification promotes quality practices. It signals to your customer base and community that you take environmental issues seriously. 

Learn about the points system for the LEED certification so that you can get to know the best ways to certify your building. You are also more likely to keep up with environmental regulations when you stay LEED-certified. 

Create an Environmental Plan

The majority of companies today would do well to implement an environmental plan. These plans allow you to formalize your policies so that you can take action n your business. 

Environmental plans are generally facilitated by an Environmental Compliance Specialist. They will oversee it and help make changes when necessary. Some of the benefits of an environmental plan include:

  • It provides the chance to set and achieve environmental goals
  • An environmental plan converses your energy use and raw materials
  • These plans can help reduce your liability issues
  • A quality environmental plan helps to reduce your carbon footprint and lower pollution
  • Employee and company morale will improve

Work with a specialist that can help you institute an environmental policy. It starts with a commitment to making improvements. Take the time to consider your goals and objectives and recognize why they are important. When you take the time to plan out your policy, you will be able to map out areas of liability and potential issues that you can address in the policy. 

It will take a committee to help you implement the plan in earnest so that you can make changes in your company. Go point by point with your environmental policy and use it to inform your processes moving forward. 

Implement Any Necessary Changes

Take the time to incorporate meaningful changes in your company to make sure that environmental compliance remains a priority. Add these sorts of changes to your budget regularly and track them so that you always know your company is doing its due diligence in remaining ahead of the curve. 

Some areas where changes may apply include:

Hazardous Waste

Handling your hazardous waste correctly is one of the most useful steps you can take to manage your environmental compliance. This is especially important if your company uses and handles a lot of chemicals. Companies today invest in hazmat inventory management services that track the use of these chemicals and handle these, like labeling and analytics. 

These inventory databases keep track of more than 150,000 different chemicals so that you are always aware and taking the right precautions. Using one of these systems can help you reduce the liabilities in your company while also preventing the spread of pollution. 


The EPA and other organizations also address standards that you need to know regarding indoor and outdoor air quality. Indoor air quality is important since it’s in a contained space and since human beings spend the majority of their lives inside, and air quality affects breathing quality and even exposure to carcinogens. 

In terms of outdoor air, your company needs to be a good steward of its emissions so that it pollutes less. This includes measures like watching what types of fuels and combustible chemicals you use and how frequently you use certain types of machinery. 

You might also work in an industry that is subject to different types of air pollutants, such as perchloroethylene in laundromats and dry cleaning businesses and benzene from companies that use and produce gasoline and other types of fuel. 

Water Sources

Make sure that you’re also in compliance when it comes to water pollutants. Oceans, lakes, and other bodies of water are subject to pollution when chemicals leak and drift into them. You might have to keep track of your chemical sources and develop policies for keeping them under control. 

Some of the chemicals that you need to look out for include:

  • Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
  • Pesticides and Herbicides
  • Mercury
  • Lead
  • Pharmaceutical drugs

Keeping track of your water sources and keeping them free of chemicals and pollutants can also help you avoid fines and penalties. 

Stay Up-to-Date With New Laws

It’s also important that you do your research so that you can stay up-to-date with any law changes that come about. Legal compliance is critical because penalties can set your company back financially while also damaging your reputation. 

Learn about these environmental laws and regulations before they take effect so that you can make any necessary changes in time. Some laws are passed on the federal level, while others may deal with the state your business operates in. Examples of some laws that are commonly updated include the National Environmental Policy Act or changes to EPA regulations. 

Train Your Team 

Environmental issues are a relatively young and new area of focus. As such, it’s important that you always make sure that your employees and team are trained and up-to-date. 

Focus on training your employees so that they stay safe and follow all compliance standards. This is especially important if you use an environmental compliance system or other software systems to keep track of these issues. Keep your team up-to-date with tech issues and make continuing education a priority on all levels. 

This is the aspect that will help you institute your policies so that you can start getting the results that you’re looking for. 

Use Automation When Possible

Automation is king when it comes to the way that you handle your environmental regulations. This technology lets you use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to track your data and handle permits and other records that keep you in compliance. 

Using an online safety data sheet management system can help you keep track of your reports and analyzes. These systems save time and help you with your decision-making so that you always have checks and balances. Invest in a mobile app that everyone in your building can use. This lets you stay on track with compliance issues and get the best and most accurate data possible.  

Automation will help you with your safety, labeling, shipping, and logistics. It’ll help you monitor thousands of items without having to invest time or lose focus. 

Get a Handle on Your Environmental Compliance

Environmental compliance is an issue that many different industries will have to focus on for the foreseeable future. Staying on top of your compliance will help you get rid of waste and prevent fines and penalties in your company. 

When you have a plan that works, your company’s environmental issues will be addressed properly. 
Kelleher, Helmrich, and Associates can assist you. We specialize in hazmat inventory and other environmental services. If you have questions, schedule a demo with us today.