Getting Started

Before taking action, screen production companies need to become aware of their environmental impacts. e.g. the ways in which the company may cause damage or harm to the environment. Many of the impacts will already be known or be obvious to you and quick gains can be made by starting with the common-sense tips for your screen production activity in the Tools (Office, Behind the Screen, Location, On Screen, Off Screen).

Assessing your environmental impacts

In order to assess the significance of the environmental impacts identified in the environmental review, further investigation, measurement, and monitoring may be required. During the environmental review, you will be talking to a wide range of staff; they know their business areas/activities best and may well have their own concerns about particular environmental impacts and good ideas for addressing them.

Factors that help determine whether it is important to reduce an impact include the cost in terms of procurement spend, the amount consumed (e.g. number of disposable cups purchased), greenhouse gas emissions, discharges or waste going to landfill. If you have a large number of suppliers, start by identifying the top 20 spends and work out whether any are associated with high resource consumption or high waste generation. High spend and significant environmental impacts usually indicate an opportunity for cost savings.

When options for reducing environmental impacts are being considered, gather as much information as possible about the activity causing the impact. Although capital expenditure may be needed to introduce an alternative option, the payback may be quite reasonable when all the possible savings are considered. For example, the savings that could be made by introducing paperless scripts include not only the costs of purchasing the paper and disposing of waste paper to landfill, but also the fuel used to deliver the paper, the space needed to store paper, the labour involved in photocopying, the space occupied by waste paper, and the labour involved in removing waste paper from offices to the waste collection point.

Another way to determine whether environmental impacts are significant is to draw up a list of all the possible impacts identified in the environmental review and allocate scores for risk factors such as the level or size of impact, its probability or frequency, and the degree of concern or interest likely associated with the impact. The individual scores are added up and totals over a predetermined amount are considered significant. If there is the possibility that an activity could result in non-compliance with an environmental regulation, then that impact is deemed significant, as it could lead to enforcement action. The factors and the scoring system can be varied to reflect the issues relevant to a particular company, as this is simply a tool for comparing and prioritising environmental impacts. It may be useful to involve a number of staff from different parts of the company in the scoring. This may be done by the company environmental group/committee if you have one. Assessing the significance of your environmental impacts will help you to determine which impacts should be addressed.
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