Caring for Creation: Environmental Management Systems for BAM Companies
The findings of the BAM and Creation Care Consultation indicate a profound shift in the attitude of BAM practitioners to environmental stewardship and creation care in the last decade. This was particularly notable in the second report in this series, ‘How are We Doing?: An Environmental Stewardship Survey of BAM Practitioners’. Environmental stewardship was important to survey respondents both personally and in their business. While this is an encouraging development, an outstanding challenge identified from that study was the effective implementation of Environmental Management Systems (EMS).
Earlier in our consultation process, we interviewed Christian scientists and environmental leaders and asked them the one thing they would tell a God-honouring business to do to be a good creation care steward, see Part 1. More recently, we asked Christian business men and women their suggestions to fellow BAM practitioners on how to get started with an EMS, see Part 2.
As we have already seen from previous reports in this series, there is much to motivate us in the task of environmental stewardship; there are many ways we can respond to both the biblical mandate to care for creation and the pressing environmental challenges faced by the world today.
However, business as mission practitioners face challenges, they are often doing business in underserved places, amongst employees, customers or communities that are neglected by others. Historically they have lacked capacity and resources to care for creation as they would hope to. The desire to develop and implement fruitful environmental management practices has been expressed by BAM practitioners, but the practical know-how has been lacking. This paper is a response to this finding and provides guidance in establishing an EMS.
This report establishes some foundational ideas and shares helpful materials to assist BAM practitioners towards becoming better environmental stewards through their companies. It points to further resources that should significantly aid the BAM community to mature in its ability to develop effective Environmental Management Systems.
The recommendations and action plan that follow provide tangible steps for BAM practitioners and the wider BAM community to pursue.
BAM and Creation Care Part 1