What is Environmental Management Systems (EMS)?

An Environmental Management System (sometimes referred to as an EMS) is an apparatus for dealing with the effects of an organization’s practices on nature. It gives an organized methodology to arranging and actualizing environmental safety measures. EMS involves establishment of programs and monitoring and measuring progress to meet desired objectives and targets.

More formally, EMS is a tool that is used to study the impact of organization’s activities on the environment. It helps an organization achieve its environmental goals through systematic, planned and documented manner. It monitors environmental performance that helps an organization to increase its business efficiency and reduce its carbon footprint.

According to Wikipedia,

” Environmental management system (EMS) refers to the management of an organization’s environmental programs in a comprehensive, systematic, planned and documented manner. It includes the organizational structure, planning and resources for developing, implementing and maintaining policy for environmental protection. ”

International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 14001 is the most widely used standard for EMS.


What Are the Main Features and Goals of an EMS?

An Environmental Management System screens environmental execution, like the way a money related administration framework screens use and salary and empowers consistent checks of an organization’s monetary execution.

An EMS incorporates environmental administration into an organization’s every day operations, long term practices, and other quality administration frameworks.

To create an EMS, an association needs to evaluate its environmental effects, set goals to help diminish these effects, and arrange how to accomplish the targets.

Obligations and reporting structure, both of which need to be dispensed to staff and administration to guarantee the EMS is actualized viably.

An environmental impact is recognizable proof and documentation of the real and potential environmental effects of an association’s operations. This might be attained through undertaking an environmental review.

An environmental review structures the premise of deciding an association’s environmental goals and targets. An association can find a number of benefits by doing regular environmental reviews and by constantly changing how they are doing things.

An environmental plan is an announcement of what an association expects to attain from an EMS. It guarantees all environmental exercises are reliable with the association’s destinations.

Environmental management plans will outline the systems and methodology which an association will use to reach its destination.

Reviewing environmental goals to analyze its environmental impact and continuous improvement of environmental performance is one the important feature of EMS.

Training, where the staff will be able to become acquainted with their obligations that are related executing the EMS and with the general environmental arrangement and destinations of the association. This gives staff the important expertise and inspiration for the successful usage of the EMS.

Documentation is important for everything that you are doing as part of your EMS. Everything ought to be reported alongside data that is showing the environmental impacts of the changes that the organization is making. Documentation is valuable for proving environmental changes to staff, investors, and other persons who play a role in the company in question.

The most essential part of an Environmental Management System is hierarchical responsibility. For a successful EMS to be created and executed, you require cooperation from the CEO and all staff. Basically, it’s to make sure that your company or organization is working as hard as they can to lessen their impact on the environment around them.

Audits and monitoring, which are done by survey reviews. These should be executed on a regular basis in order to guarantee that the Environmental Management System is attaining its goals and to refine operational strategies to meet this objective. That being said, they can also help your organization to find where they may be falling off track.

Operational and emergency procedures include all strategies that are going to be used in the process. These ought to be checked on to guarantee they are in line with the association’s environmental destinations and targets. Any progressions ought to be incorporated with the documentation.

What Are the Benefits of Having an EMS?

An EMS can help an organization in a number of different ways. Here are some of the most prominent benefits to having an EMS for your organization.

  • Environmental Management Systems can help to minimize environmental effects of an organization or company.
  • They can help to amplify the productive use of assets that the company has.
  • They are shown to help to reduce the amount of waste that a company produces.
  • EMS’s can help to give the public a good picture of the organization that you have and that you want to be.
  • They can play a very large role in constructing the consciousness of environmental concern among people within your organization and that utilize what your organization has to offer them.
  • Gain a superior understanding of the environmental effects of business exercises.
  • Expansion benefits and enhancement of environmental plan execution, through more productive operations.

5 Stages of EMS Cycle

An ISO 14001 environmental management system is the most commonly used framework that help organizations to manage their environmental impacts. The framework developed by ISO 14001 encourages a company to continuously improve its environmental performance through commitment, planning, implementation, evaluation and review. By design, the system runs in a continuous improvement cycle.

Below are 5 main stages of an Environmental Management System as defined by the ISO 14001 standard.

1. Environmental Policy: Top management of the company is committed to environmental compliance and continuous improvement and layouts the foundation of environmental policy.

2. Planning: The company then identifies environmental aspects such as air and water pollution that can have negative effect on the lives of the people. It develops targets and programs to achieve them. It also delegates responsibilities, identifies schedules and present a broad picture as to how it is going to achieve the defined objectives.

3. Implementation: This step involves implementation of the steps as laid down during the planning phase. The company identifies and completes training needs for all employees so as to make them aware of the company’s environmental policies. Apart from this, it documents the EMS through policies, establishes document control and implements emergency preparedness and response.

4. Evaluation: A company monitors environmental interactions, performs internal audit of the EMS, evaluate whether targets are being met and establish a non-conformance and corrective action system.

5. Review: Senior management of the company review the environmental policies and objectives, EMS performance and suggest improvements. This stage help management to identify the effectiveness of the EMS.

So, as you can see, there are a lot of great things about an environmental management system. If this sounds like something your business needs, take the time to start developing one at your company today.

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Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.