NATURE AND CULTURE
ENERGY AND CLIMATE
RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
CONSERVATION
ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS
ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS (EMS)
E&E ENGINEERING

Environmental Management Systems (EMS)
Environment Management Systems (EMS) are tool-based applications for managing the impacts of an organisation’s activities on the environment. It provides a structured approach to planning and implementing environment protection measures. EMS monitor environmental performance, similar to the way financial management systems monitor expenditure and income and enable regular checks of a business’ financial performance. EMS integrate environmental management into a company’s daily operations, long-term planning and other quality management systems.

EMS Components
EMS assess organisations' environmental impacts, set targets to reduce these impacts and plan how to achieve these targets. The most important EMS component is an organisational commitment. For EMS effectiveness, the development and implementation stages are critical. EMS require a top commitment from top management as well as all staff and stakeholders. When putting together EMS research, further components considered include: (1) environmental policy: to ensure all environmental activities are consistent with the organisation’s objectives; (2) environmental impact identification: to identify and document actual and potential environmental impacts of the organisation’s operations (e.g. an environmental audit); (3) regular monitoring of environmental objectives and targets: to encourage and improve its environmental performance; (4) consultation with staff and the community at large; (5) reviewing operational and emergency procedures compatibility with the organisation’s environmental objectives and targets; (6) environmental management planning methods and procedures: to meet its objectives and targets; (7) documentation of all objectives, targets, policies, responsibilities and procedures on environmental performance; (8) responsibilities and reporting: to ensure EMS implementation is effective; (9) training staff about environmental awareness and their responsibilities for EMS implementation; (10) reviewing audits and monitoring compliance of EMS goals: to refine operational procedures; and (11) continual improvement: to refine EMS targets and objectives set by  individual companies to protect the environment.


International Environmental Standard: ISO 14001:2015
Requirements standards currently being developed by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO)  have been significantly updated, from ISO 14001:2004, to meet current market best practice. ISO 14001:2015 standardisation has been updated to better assist with companies EMS usage. Highlights include: (1) minimise environmental liabilities; (2) maximise the efficient use of resources; (3) reduce waste; (4) demonstrate a good corporate image; (5) build awareness of environmental concern among employees; (6) gain a better understanding of the environmental impacts of business activities; (8) and increase profit, improving environmental performance, through more efficient operations. Although EMS implementation is essentially a voluntary initiative, it can also become an effective tool for governments to protect the environment as it can assist in regulation. Further information can be found on the European Eco-Management and Audit Scheme website [ec.europa.eu/environment/emas/about/enviro_en.htm]. The ISO standards provide both a model for streamlining environmental management and guidelines to ensure environmental issues are considered within decision making practices. At the Centre, we have expertise in EMS implementation, including example studies within a number of European and African higher education institutions, NGOs and Italian businesses.

Reference
Cascio, J., Woodside, G. and Mitchell, P. (1996). ISO 14000 Guide – The new international environmental management standards, McGraw Hill, New York.

RESEARCH
SUSTAINABILITY
HUMAN GEOGRAPHY ENVIRONMENT
     NATURE AND CULTURE
     ENERGY AND CLIMATE
     RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
     CONSERVATION
     ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS
     EMS

     E&E ENGINEERING INTERDISCIPLINARY SOCIETAL STUDIES
INSTITUTIONAL COLLABORATION














EMS IMPLEMENTATION CYCLE (adapted from Cascio et al., 1996)

















EMS OPERATE ON PRINCIPLES THAT FOLLOW A PLAN-DO-CHECK-ACT CYCLE