Environmental Management Systems – Your A – Z guide

EMS Explained - 'the basics'

An Environmental Management System (EMS) is a structured framework for managing an organisation's significant environmental impacts; 

  • Practical tool - To help organisations understand and manage their impacts on the Environment
  • Framework - To continually improve environmental performance (managing negative impacts and helping to increase resource efficiency)
  • Process – Through which organisations can engage with employees, customers, clients and other stakeholders (enhancing reputation …helping demonstrate conformity with supply chain requirements)
Denning Cycle

Many organisations have adopted or commenced the approach specified in national or international standards which set requirements and a framework for systems to be externally assessed and certified. Whatever scheme is adopted, the elements of the EMS will largely be the same, following the Denning Cycle of:

  • plan what you’re going to do,
  • do what you planned to do,
  • check to ensure that you did what you planned
  • and act to make improvements.

Through this cycle, all Environmental Management Systems set a framework through which the organisation can build on-going ‘continuous improvement'

Continuous Improvement