Principle 1
Management Commitment

Principle 1
Management Commitment:


The local government makes a written top-management commitment to improved environmental performance by establishing policies and goals, which emphasize management of the environment and the need to ensure compliance with environmental requirements. Commitments address pollution prevention, waste minimization and resource recovery, air quality improvement, and other urban environmental issues.

Obtain Management Support

The local government ensures support for the environmental program by management at all levels and assigns responsibility for carrying out the activities of the program.

Mayors and urban managers set the priorities, assign key personnel, and allocate funding for local government activities. In order to obtain management approval and support, the environmental management program must be seen as vital to the functioning of the local government and as a positive benefit, whether it be in financial terms or in measures such as regulatory compliance status, production efficiency, or worker protection. If management commitment is seen as lacking, environmental concerns will not receive the priority they deserve.

Local governments that consistently demonstrate management support for environmental compliance and management generally perform at the highest levels and will be looked upon as leaders that can mentor other local governments wishing to upgrade their environmental performance.

Policy Development

The local government establishes an environmental policy followed by an environmental program that complements its overall mission strategy.

The top leaders in a local government must take the lead in developing local governmental goals and instilling the attitude that all local government staff are responsible for implementing and improving environmental management measures, as well as develop criteria for evaluating how well overall goals are met. The environmental policy will be the statement that establishes commitments, goals, priorities, and attitudes. It incorporates the local government's mission (purpose), vision (what it plans to become), and core values (principles by which it operates). The environmental policy also addresses the requirements and concerns of stakeholders and how the environmental policy relates to other policies of the local government.

System Integration

The local government integrates the environmental management system throughout its operations, including its funding and staffing requirements, and reaches out to other local governments.

The local government should institutionalize the environmental program within local governmental units at all levels and should take steps to measure its performance by incorporating specific environmental performance criteria into managerial and employee performance evaluations.

Local governments that fulfill this principle demonstrate consistent high-level management commitment, integrate an environmental viewpoint into planning and decision-making activities, and ensure the availability of adequate personnel and fiscal resources to meet local governmental goals. This involves incorporating environmental performance into decision-making processes along with factors such as cost, efficiency, and productivity.

Environmental Stewardship And Sustainable Development

The local government strives to facilitate a culture of environmental stewardship and sustainable development.

'Environmental Stewardship' refers to the concept that society should recognize the impacts of its activities on environmental conditions and should adopt practices that generate positive environmental impacts and eliminate or reduce negative environmental impacts.

A local government's commitment to environmental stewardship and sustainable development would be demonstrated through implementation of several sustainability principles and performance objectives. For example, by implementing pollution prevention and resource conservation measures, the local government can reduce its negative environmental impacts resulting directly from its facilities. In addition, by including the concepts of environmental protection and sustainability in its policies, the local government can help develop the culture of environmental stewardship and sustainable development not only within the local government but also to those parts of society which are affected by the local government 's activities.

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Contact: Hari Srinivas - hsrinivas@gdrc.org