Environmental Management Systems – Your A – Z guide

Benefits of an EMS

An Environmental Management System (EMS) is a structured framework for businesses and organisations to manage their environmental impacts. National and international EMS certification schemes emerged in the early 1990s and have since developed closely through to increasingly standardised and complimentary approaches. Environmental Management Systems are now widely adopted offering a number of direct benefits to both public and private sector organisations;

  • Helps achieve real cost savings - direct efficiencies in energy, water, waste, purchasing and transport
  • Management of environmental risk and ensuring legal compliance
  • A valuable engagement process for staff and stakeholders
  • Effectively demonstrate commitment and responsibility to key clients, regulators and the public
  • Leading schemes have been structured to be compatible and complementary with other mainstream standards (e.g. ISO 9001 Quality Standard)
  • Increasingly valuable as a pre-requisite for doing business – EMS accredited certification helping to demonstrate your business’s compliance with supply chain requirements

By 2006 over two thirds of FTSE250 companies already had a formal EMS in place (BSI survey 2006).

Smaller and Medium sized businesses have also been increasingly active in adopting EMS, with an increase in 10% between 2005 and 2007 (NetRegs Environment Agency survey 2007).