What is an EMS?.
An Environmental Management System (EMS) is a framework that helps an organization achieve its environmental goals through consistent review, evaluation, ...
What is an EMS?
An Environmental Management System (EMS) is a framework that helps an organization achieve its environmental goals through consistent review, evaluation, and improvement of its environmental performance. The assumption is that this consistent review and evaluation will identify opportunities for improving and implementing the environmental performance of the organization. The EMS itself does not dictate a level of environmental performance that must be achieved; each organization's EMS is tailored to the its own individual objectives and targets.
An EMS helps an organization address its regulatory demands in a systematic and cost-effective manner. This proactive approach can help reduce the risk of non-compliance and improve health and safety practices for employees and the public. An EMS can also help address non-regulated issues, such as energy conservation, and can promote stronger operational control and employee stewardship. Basic Elements of an EMS include the following:
Reviewing the organization's environmental goals;
Analyzing its environmental impacts and legal requirements;
Setting environmental objectives and targets to reduce environmental impacts and comply with legal requirements;
Establishing programs to meet these objectives and targets;
Monitoring and measuring progress in achieving the objectives;
Ensuring employees' environmental awareness and competence; and,
Reviewing progress of the EMS and making improvements.
Costs and Benefits of an EMS
Staff/manager time (represents the bulk of EMS resources expended by most organizations)
Other employee time
Potential consulting assistance
Outside training of personnel
Improved environmental performance
Increased efficiency/reduced costs
Enhanced employee morale
Enhanced image with public, regulators, lenders, investors
Employee awareness of environmental issues and responsibilities