Environmental Policy

CWU Issue Environment and Climate Change Guidance For Union Reps

The CWU and LRD have produced this booklet to support the strong desire within our Union to change our workplaces to make them more sustainable and environmentally friendly.

There is overwhelming support from Union members and Representatives for more to be done to combat global warming and to promote good environmental practices at work through robust environmental policies.

Motion 103 on 'Global Warming' was carried at 2009's CWU Annual Conference, and in summary, Conference agreed that global warming is relevant to workers, that the CWU should pressure employers to have robust environmental policies and to reduce carbon emissions, to lead by example and aim to become carbon neutral as well as provide information to members and branches.

National Health Safety and Environment Officer Dave Joyce said "Employers need to do more to improve their environmental performance and have in place strategies to reduce carbon emissions. Environmental initiatives can bring benefits to employers and its employees. Our aim is to promote good environmental practices at work that will benefit workers, employers and the wider community."


The purpose of this policy is to seek to ensure that organisations and companies within which the CWU has members employed operate whilst complying with and constantly improving environmental standards.

CWU will:-

  • Regard any environmental standards required by law as the minimum standards, and whenever possible will pursue the employment of higher standards by employers.
  • Encourage employers to establish an environmental policy in which responsibility, authority and resources are defined, environmental management programmes and systems are maintained, and environmental management reviews are carried out on a regular audit cycle.
  • Promote implementation of BS EN IS014001 Standards and registration throughout employer's operations procedures and management systems.
  • Promote environmental assessments of all employers operations in line with ISO14001.
  • Encourage employers to participate in the EMAS (EU ECO-Management and Audit Scheme) and seek EMAS registration standards and independent verification.
  • Encourage employers' participation in continually improving environmental performance.
  • Encourage inclusion of environmental objectives and targets in employer's business plans and an annual public statement that outlines how the company has met its stated objectives and targets.
  • Promote awareness of environmental policies and issues through publication of employers reports to encourage interest and involvement.
  • Promote the adoption of policies by employers which prevent pollution, reduce and render emissions harmless, whenever possible.
  • Support energy conservation, energy management and energy efficiency programmes.
  • Support the use of energy generated from renewable sources.
  • Promote the minimisation of waste materials.
  • Promote the maximisation of recycling and re-use.
  • Encourage employers to check the Environmental Policy and performance of sub-contractors and suppliers.
  • Promote purchasing decisions being given due consideration to environmental factors.
  • Encourage employers to ensure that all plans, projects and initiatives include an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIS).
  • Encourage employers to provide staff information and instruction or training on environmental issues.
  • Review and monitor environmental performance of employers.
  • Pursue and support arrangements for the involvement of and consultation with safety representatives on environmental issues in order to agree ways to implement the Union's policy and reduce environmental impact of employers' activities whilst making the workplace healthy, safe and environmentally friendly.
  • Support national and international campaigns for the adoption and implementation of improved environmental standards by the UK Government and the EU.
  • Raise awareness and understanding of the CWU Environmental Policy to all employers and members.

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