Environmental objectives, targets and action plans

The course will be about environmental objectives, targets, and action plan for an organization.


Environmental Objective: overall goal consistent with the environmental policy that the organization  wants to achieve.

Target: detailed performance requirement, applicable to the organization or parts thereof, that arises from the environmental objectives and that needs to be set and met in order to achieve those objectives.

Environmental program/action plan: Specifying how to achieve objectives & targets includes responsibility, means & timeframe Untitled content.

The ISO 14001 standard states that an environmental policy is the organization's overall environmental performance intentions and direction formally expressed by top management.

Objectives and targets ISO 14001:2004 CLAUSE 4.3.3

“The organization shall establish and maintain documented environmental objectives and targets, at each relevant function and level within the organization.

"An organization shall consider its legal and other requirements, its significant environmental aspects, it technological options, and its financial, operational and business requirements, and the views of interested parties.

“The objectives and targets shall be consistent with the environmental policy, including the commitment to prevention of pollution.” Untitled content"

The environmental objectives are established for activities which have been identified as requiring management and reduction in order to improve environmental performance t

In ISO 14001 you are using your environmental objectives to identify, track, and notify employees and interested parties what the goals of your environmental management system (EMS) improvements are to be.

They need to be made relevant at all levels of the organization that needs to know them, and they need to be consistent with your environmental policy since this is the overall stated goal of the EMS.

The objective is translated into an action to be attained at respective levels. e.g IT department.

Objectives should be SMART

Specific- By being specific, your objective is easier to understand, and there will be much less misunderstanding by those trying to implement the plan.

Measurable- If you have no way of measuring how a process is performing now, then how will you know if you have made any progress?

Attainable- it is agreeable to others that this can be done and how. Each objective should have a measurable target to demonstrate that the objective is being attained.

Realistic and- you can better gather the necessary cooperation of the people in the process that are affected by the change

Time bound- If your objective is open ended, how will you know when you have achieved enough and be able to set a new objective and target for more improvements elsewhere?

Relevance of objectives

Involve people in the relevant functional area(s). This helps to build commitment

Get top management buy-in for your objectives.

In communicating objectives to employees, try to link the objectives to the actual environmental improvements being sought. This should give people something tangible to work towards.

Objectives should be consistent with your overall mission and plan and the key commitments established in the policy (pollution prevention, continual improvement, and compliance).

Be flexible in your objectives. Define a desired result, then let the people responsible determine how to achieve the result.

Communicate your progress in achieving objectives and targets across the organization. Consider a regular report on this progress at staff meetings or posting key targets and progress to those targets in our plant.

Untitled content


Policy: Conserve natural resources Objective: Conservation of Water resource. Target : Reduce 208.2m3/mt by April 2017. Environmental Mgmt. Program?

Environmental Action Plan (4.3.4)

The organization shall establish and maintain: program(s) for achieving its objectives and targets. It shall include a) designation of responsibility for achieving objectives and targets at each relevant function and level of the organization;

b) the means and timeframe by which they are to be achieved.

If a project relates to new developments and new or modified activities, products, or services, the program(s) shall be amended where relevant to ensure that environmental management applies to such projects.

Relevance of action plans

Action planning is the process that guides the day-to-day activities of an organization . It is the process of planning what needs to be done, when it needs to be done, by whom it needs to be done, and what resources or inputs are needed to do it.

Most action plans consist of the following elements: a statement of what must be achieved (the outputs or result areas that come out of the strategic planning process); a spelling out of the steps that have to be followed to reach this objective;

some kind of time schedule for when each step must take place and how long it is likely to take (when); a clarification of who will be responsible for making sure that each step is successfully completed (who);

a clarification of the inputs/resources that are needed.

The program should show the linkages, or relationships, between aspects, significant impacts, objectives, targets, means, time-frame and responsibility

The action plan should show the linkages, or relationships, between aspects, significant impacts,................, ................., means, the time frame and responsibility.

Group exrecise

Divide into small groups. Work with someone you don’t know.Choose a significant environmental aspect from your department. Brainstorm possible objectives and targets and action plan for it. (Remember to include: what, how, who, when, and resources)

Whatever job you are doing must a purpose of demonstration.

  • Type your statement here...
  • Type your statement here...

Almost all objectives must have an element to monitor and measure if you are winning .

  • Type your statement here...
  • Type your statement here...

Good objectives must allow quantifying the outcome basing on the initial assessment.

  • Type your statement here...
  • Type your statement here...