tax payers are interested in where their money goes, and as consumers they want to know what the company providing their goods is doing to protect the climate. Give them the opportunity to participate too. Here it can be useful to involve the media in telling people about what you are doing.
The whole scheme will obviously need adapting to the group concerned: what works well on a country-wide scale may be rather too elaborate and complex for an SME or an NGO, for example. This organizational set-up in a cycle is closely aligned with the approach employed in environmental
authorities apply the management system to certain sectors of their administration or certify their whole operations.
A national example for an environmental certifi cation system is the Norwegian Eco-Lighthouse Programme. Through the programme companies reduce their impact on the environment, cut costs and benefit from their status as an environmentally responsible company. The “Eco-Lighthouse” concept was born in 1996, when six municipalities were selected to participate in “Sustainable Communities,” a Norwegian Local Agenda 21 pilot programme. The city authorities presented a proposal to nine companies as diverse as a hotel, a housepainter, an ice-cream factory and a wood product company. The city paid a consultant to do an environmental audit and draw up a three-year plan for reducing resource consumption and environmental impact. In return, the firms undertook to carry out the plan and share their experiences with other fi rms in the same industry. Based on the audits, criteria for local, industry-specific environmental certifi cation schemes were developed.
The concept spread further and since 2006, the Norwegian capital Oslo has required Eco-Lighthouse certification from all its public enterprises, from hospitals to waste management facilities and down to kindergartens.