Risk ratings for environmental issues

Risk ratings for environmental issues

I was with an organization this week, working through all of the environmental risks we had identified and scoring them according to the organization’s newly defined criteria. The criteria cover a wide range of potential issues, including safety, health & environmental; reputation; impact on operations and cost.

As you might expect, some of the risks that are significant from an environmental point of view didn’t necessarily score highly in terms of the organization’s perception of overall risk. Also, some of the actions that we can take to significantly reduce environmental risk won’t reduce the risk rating at all because of the way it is scored.

However, this was still a really useful exercise. It clearly highlighted those areas where our proposed actions would make a significant difference to the organization’s perception of overall risk, and some of these are areas where we have struggled to get senior management support for projects in the past.

I am optimistic that this exercise will enable us to gain financial support for some really interesting projects that will generate significant environmental improvements as well as reducing risk for the organization.

What are your senior management team’s priorities with regard to risk, and how can you use that information to make environmental performance improvements?