Increasing Corporate Sustainability Policy Effectiveness

Many corporations offer a sustainability segment on their websites, which outlines short and long-term corporate sustainability goals as well as highlights the progress already achieved. A “Corporate Sustainability Policy” typically accompanies this agenda to demonstrate the standards and practices that support the company’s environmental goals. Statistically, businesses that actively engage in and promote their sustainability practices have a competitive edge in the marketplace. Providing the policy for public viewing expresses the corporation’s commitment to environmental, social and economic responsibility, as well as increases value in the eyes of potential and current employees.

However, the Corporate Sustainability Policy may not be as effectively conveyed internally to current employees as much as it is displayed for the public. Most corporate employees are well versed in the human resource policies in areas such as vacation days and sick leave, but have little knowledge of the actual sustainability practices of the company. A solution to this challenge is to deliver and translate the Corporate Sustainability Policy to employees on a regular basis (such as is the standard procedure with human resource policies) coupled with education and training. This method of dispersing the policy could potentially increase motivation and participation, ultimately leading to real change and positive progress.

Waste Management offers an example of how to effectively present a sustainability program. It outlines ways in which the corporation is “contributing to a more sustainable world,” as well as provides links to past Corporate Sustainability Reports. Waste Management’s Sustainability Services helps businesses develop sustainability programs, implement comprehensive environmental policies, as well as provide educational resources and training for employees. When valued corporate-wide, embraced and adhered to at every level, a Sustainability Policy becomes fundamental and demonstrates a genuine commitment to environmental stewardship.

For more information about implementing a Sustainability Policy or training and educational resources, contact Waste Management Sustainability Services at 877-441-3046 or visit