What is an Environmental Management System?

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What is an Environmental Management System?

Post  Admin on Wed Oct 19, 2011 2:47 pm

An EMS is a tool that provides organizations with a method to systematically manage and improve the environmental aspects of their production processes. It helps organizations to achieve their environmental obligations and performance goals. The International Standards Organization (ISO) defines an EMS as ’the part of the overall management system that includes organizational structure, planning activities, responsibilities, practices, procedures, processes and resources for developing, implementing, achieving, reviewing and maintaining the environmental policy’.
An EMS can be implemented in many different ways depending on the precise sector or activity and the needs perceived by management, but several common operating principles should be present. These operating principles of an EMS follow a ‘Plan-Do-Check-Act Cycle’ (PDCA Cycle):
Plan: Establish an environmental policy including objectives and targets.
Do: Implement organizational structure, allocate resources and assign responsibilities to achieve set objectives and targets. Also, establish training and communication procedures to implement set objectives and targets successfully.
Check: Collect, analyses, monitor and measure retrieved information and results (against planned objectives and targets). Check results through audits.
Act: Review and evaluate environmental performance and correct and/or improve environmental policy including objectives and targets, as well as organizational structure, procedures and processes in order to continuously improve environmental performance. Why do we need environmental management?
Environmental Management Systems (EMS) are instruments that meet these requirements. Among the existing EMS, EMAS is the benchmark for premium environmental management systems.

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