The overall objective of environmental communication is to provide internal and external interested parties with information on your environmental issues, their management and performance. Your RMMP should include details on what to communicate, when to communicate it, to whom and how. Some larger organisations maintain a specific communications procedure. Depending on the organisation, the communications procedure can specify everything from use of emails, to issue of press releases by the public relations manager, to liaise with regulatory authorities, to calling of emergency services. The communications process must incorporate details on reporting of incidents and emergencies identified above.

Internal communications

Your internal interested parties may include:

  • top management, who are responsible for ensuring the overall environmental management program is implemented;
  • section managers who are responsible for communicating the environmental responsibilities;
  • personnel who conduct the environmental monitoring;
  • operators who implement the operational controls.

Internal communications will include distribution of relevant environmental management information through the management levels in place at your facility. This information might include distribution of operational control procedures, reporting of monitoring results, contributions to risk assessment workshops, provision of training, notification of process changes, internal reporting of incidents and emergencies, and reporting of environmental performance to top management.

External communications

External communications regarding environmental management are usually more closely controlled as they can involve sensitive issues and require adherence to corporate protocol. Such communications require logs to be kept and may require follow-up action by nominated personnel.

External communications may include:

  • engagement with the local community;
  • maintenance of a company website and social media information sites;
  • liaison with regulatory authorities;
  • participation in industry bodies or other professional organisations;
  • receipt of community complaints and enquiries;
  • reporting of incidents and emergencies; and
  • routine environmental reporting obligations such as
    • Permission Information and Performance Statement (PIPS) to EPA;
    • National Pollutant Inventory (NPI; if you meet the reporting threshold); and
    • National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (NGER) scheme (if you meet the reporting threshold)

Reviewed 9 March 2022