Environmental Management Systems – Your A – Z guide

Getting Started

How can I participate?

There are a number of steps that an organisation needs to do to get started on Acorn:

  • Download a copy of the IEMA Acorn Scheme Phase 1 workbook, available free of charge from this website. (Acorn workbook Phases 1-3 is available through www.iema.net/shop -further details can be found at the foot of this page. Acorn workbook Phases 4-6 will be available in due course)
    application/pdf  Acorn Phase1hb.pdf (1.83 MB)
  • Once you have looked through the profile, run a quick self-assessment by matching your position and practices against the ‘achievement criteria’ in each of the Phase 1 stages. You could find that your current level of performance control would already qualify you for external recognition through a Phase One certificate.
  • Obtain a copy of the BS8555 standard – IEMA members receive a 15% discount when ordering online. BS8555 Publication
  • Identify which Phase level you should target. Further assistance can be gained through a UKAS accredited Acorn Inspection Body.
  • Implement the stage profiles for the Phase(s), ensuring that the EMS is well communicated, roles & responsibilities are assigned to practical actions, and improvements are successfully made in environmental performance.
  • Arrange an Acorn Inspection for external validation that all the requirements of the relevant Phases have been met.
  • On completion of the inspection a report will be issued to you providing useful feedback on the findings and, if successful, an IEMA Acorn certificate.
  • Following a successful inspection, the organisation’s details will be published on the Acorn register. Organisations also have the opportunity to publicise their achievements through the use of the Acorn logo, relevant to their Phase of achievement.
  • Decide whether to progress onwards to the next Phase, or consolidate at the level attained with the requirement to continually improve your environmental performance and undergo annual re-inspection to maintain your certificate and entry on the register.

How much will it all cost?

The cost of implementing the Acorn scheme’s requirements will be dependent on a variety of factors including:

  • The availability of UK, European, regional or local funding and support (Envirowise offers free fast track visits to help you identify your key environmental impacts, also check with your local business link or other local funding agency as they might be able to offer training or consultancy support)
  • Whether there are sector support schemes
  • Which Phase of the scheme is being set as the ultimate company objective
  • How much work can be undertaken within the company
  • The size and complexity of the organisation and its activities
  • The cost and number of external Phase audits pursued by the company; and ultimately
  • ISO 14001 certification / EMAS registration costs, where applicable.

Inspection Bodies will calculate the amount of time they will need to spend on their inspection activities. The sooner you contact them, the better able they will be to give you a price and programme in an inspection visit. There’s also an additional £100+VAT one-off registration charge to cover the IEMA’s costs, together with £50 costs for each new certificate following renewal or upgrade. In summary, costs are:

  • Copy of BS8555 standard, which is available on the BSI shop
  • Inspection fee to be determined between organisation and Acorn Inspection Body
  • Acorn registration fee of £100.00 (with re-certification cost of £50.00 following upgrade or annual re-inspection)
  • Internal cost of employing staff time & resources in the EMS process

If you would like more information on taking part in the IEMA Acorn Scheme, please contact:

IEMA Acorn Scheme
The Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment
City Office Park
Tritton Road
Email: acorn@iema.net

Tel: +44 (0)1522 540069
Fax: +44 (0)1522 540090

The BS 8555 standard ‘BS 8555:2003: Environmental Management System. Guide to the phased implementation of an environmental management system including the use of environmental performance evaluation’ is available through our online shop.

IEMA members receive a 15% discount on the normal selling price, non members a 5% discount. Click on the link below for further details:

BS 8555 Publication

Last modified February 19, 2016 10:33:18 AM