I provide advice about the development of an Environmental Policy.

My clients are companies that deal with criticism from the general public, regulators and NGOs. These companies include the oil and gas industry, power plants, large farms and large construction companies.

According to the international environmental management standard, an environmental policy needs to meet the following minimum conditions:

  • It reflects the business.
  • Compliance with pertinent laws and regulations is assured.
  • A commitment for continuous improvement is included.

For my target group this is not sufficient, as it doesn’t ensure a good reputation. When developing an environmental policy, it is important to know what you want and what you can achieve. What does your ideal customer look like and what behavior does he expect of you? Stay away from green-washing.

My advice is to build your environment policy from the bottom up. Instead of starting with vague concepts, it is more meaningful to start with what is possible and the costs of that. So start with your environmental management system. This prevents the inhibition of responsibility and creativity of your employees. This in turn leads to better and more cost-effective solutions, ensures that no promises are made that cannot be kept and that your environmental policy is in alignment with the other business objectives.

Ultimately, it comes down to the delivery of your promises. You can’t do any more than that, and you won’t get away with any less.



Road in South of EnglandJos Tissen

A roadmap for companies

This article is for those companies that have realised that their future is uncertain under current environmental legislation and under rising opposition from the general public. It offers a way out for these companies. It suggests that the problem is caused by several simplifications, provides insight into the underlying problems, offers a tool to redefine company environmental issues, and discusses alternative and more effective response strategies.
Panda coinJos Tissen

A visualization of the conflict between development and conservation

This page aims to visualize the conflict between development and conservation. Sets of images are presented to show that an incomplete definition of nature and an incomplete sense of accountability will ultimately hinder our progress.
Boat navigating the riverJos Tissen

Exploration of environmental responsibility

This article explores the meaning of the term environmental responsibility. It makes a distinction between healthy responsibility and unhealthy responsibility. I believe that modern environmentalism leads to disproportionate feelings of responsibility and immobilization. Responsibility is not only about your own behavior, but also about your interaction with others and about the context of your behavior. If we act on this, we may discover our underlying motivation and see new ways to improve the situation at least a little bit.
Modern and classic windmills and Jean Jacques RousseauJos Tissen

Beyond the ideas of Jean Jacques Rousseau

The success of contemporary environmentalism is largely due to the philosophy of Jean Jacques Rousseau. It is unfortunate that the movement doesn't seem to realize that their success is also limited by his philosophy. The question how our environmental impacts should be reduced is no longer the right one. It should be replaced with the question: how do you want to live on this planet?
Train in front of The Hague skylineJos Tissen

Polarization and reducing the environmental burden

Polarized engagements are normal and almost feel natural. Why is it beneficial to continue like this; who wins? In this post, I would like to demonstrate that a polarized approach is ineffective and how environmental communication can be improved. Simple logical tests can be applied to invalidate polarized arguments and to identify common ground. An analysis of payoffs and costs can reveal further options for bridging differences.
Tulips_cultural symbol of the NetherlandsJos Tissen

Reducing environmental impact without making anybody wrong

It is not difficult to blame nuclear energy, meat, cars, fossil fuels, windmills, coal plants or intensive farming for the world’s environmental problems. Is it possible to reduce our environmental impact without making anybody wrong? This article shows the mechanisms behind these accusations. That insight invites people to see new opportunities and make creative choices.
Publication Image Minister Cullen WarwickICOE

Stakeholder Interaction in Environmental Management

The International Centre for Oil and the Environment (ICOE) has recently launched its publication titled: Encompassing the Future; a three volume, ten section and 59 chapter publication in print and digital format which draws on 40 years of inter-disciplinary knowledge and experience in environmental, health and safety and performance management.
Organizations depicted in intersecting cogsJos Tissen

A new future for managing environmental issues

The method described in this publication is a novel and more effective approach for the management of environmental issues; one that recognizes and pro-actively manages external expectations as well as addressing the environmental impact. The approach was refined in cooperation with Ian Buchan from ENGIE E&P UK Limited.
Sheeps bones in field; very much natureJos Tissen

The definition of the words nature and natural

Roture is an existing word in French, but in this post, I introduce a new and different meaning of the word. Contemporary Western environmental thinking uses the word nature in a manner that is ill-suited for environmental challenges such as the debate about global warming.
Theater visitors in anticipationJos Tissen

The difference between subjective and objective environmental data

Informed decisions need to be based on unbiased information; but is that even possible? It is important to realize that questions and statements are value driven. When I look at data, I want to separate the facts from their cultural interpretation.
Staged battle in fieldJos Tissen

Which side to choose in a polarized environmental debate

Despite believing that the polarization around environmental issues is grounded in our common culture and that the resulting conflict is artificial, I still find the feud between parties frustrating. If only I could tempt parties to stop their rant long enough for them to discover that their differences are not real.
Segments of 4-quadrant ES

Four-Quadrant EIA

The Four-Quadrant EIA is the EnvAid flagship approach for carrying out an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). In addition to managing your issues in a very focused and effective way, a Four-Quadrant EIA results in a significantly more positive presentation of your project.
HSE meeting

Identification of Environmental Management Strategies

An effective environmental management system is built around effective environmental management strategies; i.e. ones that are capable of dealing with the technical and emotional nature of environmental issues, the often conflicting interests and that offer constructive ways of managing these issues.
ISO 14001 sign on treetrunkJos Tissen

Proactive EMS

Although the formal purpose of an Environmental Management System (EMS) is to reduce the ecological footprint of an organization, its main purpose is to add business value. A proactive EMS should be able to deliver the most cost effective solutions for meeting environmental quality standards, legislative requirements and stakeholder expectations.
Lily pads and building reflection

Environmental Management 3.0

Environmental management 3.0 combines the strengths from natural science and social science and adds cultural awareness. This third perspective is aimed at understanding why environmental issues are important. EM 3.0™ values emotions as much as it values facts. EM 3.0™ manages emotions.
Sculture by Tom Otterness on Scheveningen beachJos Tissen

Remain constructive amidst polarized views

In my mind, human development and environmental protection are equally important. As a species, we will continue to shape our surroundings to fashion our own needs. I am also a firm believer in people as a force for good, and see technology as the hand that makes us more sustainable. I see modern environmentalism as a product of human development and not as a reason for alarm.
Laakmolen Den HaagJos Tissen

What are the limits of green ideology?

The ideology of the current environmental movement is a product of the society we live in, but it is not as effective as it needs to be. We need to start a new conversation about the environmental impacts that we have. Otherwise, we don’t see what we have achieved nor what we could be achieving.
Pirat sign on Scheveningen beachJos Tissen

How to depolarize the environmental debate

There is something theatrical about the polarization in our society between those advocating development and those advocating environmental conservation. The discussions appear to be between opposites, but are actually between partial definitions of these opposites. Like a play within a play. Such polarization is a distortion of responsibility.
Scultures at Dutch High CouncilJos Tissen

Are these blogs biased?

This blog intents to provide a constructive contribution to the ongoing debate about the protection of our planet against the impact we have on it. This first blog will be about the tinted glasses that I wear. The quest to understand my own perceptions has and continues to be one of the most rewarding adventures that I have embarked upon.