Environmental Management Systems
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An Environmental Management System (EMS) allows a company to address specific environmental issues and achieve improved environmental performance. An EMS can take a formal approach by following the guidelines of the International Standard BS EN ISO 14001 : 1996 and becoming certified or by simply developing a system based on these requirements without certification. The formal approach has the advantage of not only increasing the commitment for environmental improvement, but also identifies opportunities for improvements and cost savings on an on-going basis.
A sound, well conceived Environmental Management System is a practical management tool that can help your company:
- reduce waste and hence, operating costs;
- gain a competitive advantage;
- establish and show a system for continual environmental improvement;
- demonstrate compliance with its legal obligations;
- improve its public image.
Regardless of whether a formal approach is taken or not, an effective EMS will include:
- an assessment of the environmental aspects and impacts of the company's activities, products, processes and services;
- the development of an environmental policy;
- an environmental improvement programme with clearly defined objectives and targets;
- clearly identified roles and responsibilities for all employees;
- training and awareness programmes;
- written procedures to control activities that have a significant environmental impact;
- a controlled system of records;
- periodic auditing of the system to ensure it is operating effectively;
- a formal review of the EMS by senior management.