What is An Environmental Management System (EMS)?

Environmental management system (EMS) is a tool that is growing in importance for companies who must manage their product/service and employee safety, public opinion, environmental impact and related opportunities and risks It specifically encompasses the methods and means by which an organization runs and documents its programs for environment-related management.

This can and does include comprehensive and systematic planning and commitment of key resources for developing, implementing and maintaining procedures for the preservation of the environmental systems of the planet. Basically Environmental Management System or EMS allows an organization to continuously monitor and improve all of their processes and impacts as it relates to the environmental system that they have created as part of their ongoing operations.

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Rather than being a collection of ad hoc approaches, the environmental management systems guidelines that it produces serve as a body of environmental management system procedures, essentially providing a consistent means for organizations to prioritize and allocate social & environmental management system resources.

Environmental management system awareness begins with an environmental management system assessment, including applications for environmental management system. It then explores environmental management systems requirements with guidance for use including, but not limited to:

  • Environmental management system components
  • How to implement an environmental management system
  • Environmental management system costs
  • Combined (or integrated) quality and environmental management systems
  • Environmental management system improvement

In order to help addresses both the immediate and and the long-term impacts of this process, an environmental management system example must start with an overall strategic position and commitment by management. To aid individual companies with this process and lower the costs of implementation and ensure acceptance by other organizations such as customers, local and national governments and the public, the International Organization of Standardization, (ISO), which is a worldwide organization that develops many different kinds of standards, has created a series of standards to help implement environmental management systems.

Read “Who is ISO” for more information…

ISO 14000 is a body of knowledge that is critical to both the creation and implementation of an Environmental Management System (EMS).

Specifically ISO 14001:2004 is the embodiment of the ISO suggested standard that defines the requirements for an ISO 14000 based EMS. It also details how this standard should be put into practice.

iso 14001
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ISO 14001:2015 is a standard for anEnvironmental Management System (EMS), which enables your organization to create a plan to control your processes to minimize the environmental impact and continually analyze the results and improve your systems. Purchasing and reviewing this standard is generally one of the first steps toward certification or registration.*
(*In order to help fund its international operations, ISO requires that it receive revenue from the publication and distribution of these standards, so based on this request, the standards must be purchased.)

 14001-2009
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ISO 14001:2015/Cor 1:2009, TECHNICAL CORRIGENDUM 1, updates in ISO 14001:2015

Basics of ISO 14001

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Many countries are mandating more environmental responsibility from their corporations. For example, in the United States Of America, the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has created a series of regulations to which companies must adhere. ISO 14001 helps companies that want to implement these regulations, do so in a cost effective and efficient manner without having to reinterpret and extrapolate systems and procedures in order to comply.

Why do companies want to pursue An Environmental Management system guided by ISO 14001?

At its core, environmental management is really a duty of service for generations to come. In ensuring that all nations create and operate in a manner that will preserve the earths resources and ensure habitability, we have done what is required to support life. More specifically, by influencing all nations to act and be a part of this process, we create more of a “level playing field” in which products and services are provided at more of a fair and competitively balanced level. Certification to ISO 14001 is a tangible expression of this mission.

The Influences Of A Growing Market
Putting ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems into place and actually becoming certified in this area is generally good business. This is because it assures all the constituents of a company including customers, shareholders, suppliers, regulators and general public that this company is actively managing its environmental systems. By having an EMS in place that continues to function with changes in the market environment, it also helps minimize the costs and downstream risks with environmental management.