Today we are looking at the second dimension-- Leadership and Planning. Leadership and planning are essential in creating and maintaining an effective compliance program. Strong leadership encourages the long-term commitment and continuous improvement that drive superior performance. This dimension shows aspects of organizational leadership and compliance planning for different program levels. There is no one right or correct level, every company is different with different compliance risks and obligations. What is important, is that companies identify the level that is best for them.
Sub-Dimension 4 |Top management leadership and commitmentSupport from top management is a requirement for any compliance program. It is not an exaggeration to say that this dimension is perhaps the most important and the most predictive of success. Management sets the organizational culture, is best positioned to communicate the importance of compliance, and has the authority to allocate resources. At the basic level, management needs to be knowledgeable and supportive of compliance programs. At the other levels, greater management engagement helps take programs beyond the minimum bar of compliance to find ways to reduce risk and environmental impacts, and to find value in the compliance program.
The other critical element of this dimension is the organization’s environmental compliance policy. Organizations at the essential level will have a general compliance policy. Moving across the matrix, policies become more specific and include references to environmental compliance and commitments to continuous improvement and environmental performance.
Sub-Dimension 5 |Planning, objective and target settingSetting targets is a core feature of an environmental compliance program. Targets communicate what the organization thinks is important, creates accountability and provides a way for staff to evaluate their work. Basic programs generally limit their focus to compliance goals. Programs across the model increasingly incorporate environmental performance and continuous improvement into their targets as well as looking for goals that will help them derive value from the program.
The second part of this dimension is communication. Across the matrix, communication increasingly broadens to include more staff internally and external reporting of goals.
Next month we will look at Compliance Operations.