Environmental Management Systems

An Environmental Management System (EMS) is a framework that enables an organization or a project to properly integrate environmental elements into its activities in a systematic and structured way. An EMS helps reduce and manage negative environmental impacts and risks, helps comply with applicable regulatory and other environment-related requirements or commitments, and continually improve environmental sustainability. An EMS should include policies, procedures, performance indicators, responsibilities, training, periodic inspections and audits, and feedback/improvement mechanism. EMS can improve the management of environmental risk, improve legal compliance, achieve cost savings, enhance the engagement process for staff and stakeholders, and help demonstrate environmental commitment and responsibility to key clients, regulators and the public. There are well established EMS standards (e.g., ISO 14000, EMAS, etc.), and EMS is closely linked to health and safety management systems and to management and quality systems and standards. An EMS provides, for example as part of continued improvement, an excellent mechanism to improve environmental sustainability.