Environmental Management Systems

ISO14001 sets out specific requirements for certification. A company may choose to do the minimum required but this would miss the opportunity to use the system to its fullest potential in terms of delivering real benefits to the company. Far from being a cost, the development of an Environmental Management System (EMS) should be regarded as an investment that will help ensure both the short and long term prosperity of the business.

 The system should therefore be designed to help realise as many commercial benefits as possible:

  •  Improved profitability by reducing costs - using the EMS to help realise business improvement objectives such as improved material productivity, reduced resource use, reduced waste, reduced rejects.
  • Strengthening relations with customers: by using elements of the EMS such as the Environmental Policy to meet or exceed customers' environmental expectations. 
  • Improving marketing advantage - by using environmental performance to differentiate your business from your competitors and also by using the EMS to help improve product quality and to encourage the incorporation of environmental features into the design of products and services
  • Reduced commercial risk: by using the EMS to ensure all environmental risks and their associated commercial risks are minimised.
  • Employee motivation by involving your staff and employees in the development and the operation of the EMS (research has shown this to be one of the major benefits of the development of an EMS in larger companies)
  • Strengthened relations with suppliers by using the EMS to initiate partnerships with key suppliers
  • Long term prosperity: by using the EMS to help identify and assess environmental trends that are likely to have a significant effect on the industry/market place in which you operate so that you can plan accordingly, take advantage of new opportunities that may arise as a result of the impact of these trends and keep ahead of the competition

 In a practical sense there are a lot of overlaps between Environmental Management and all other aspects of business management not just Quality and Health & Safety but also Strategic Planning, Production, Sales, Marketing, Finance & Personnel. Where environmental management overlaps with the other management functions there is the opportunity for the EMS to contribute to these business objectives as well as environmental objectives.