What is an environmental management system?

An environmental management system encompasses an overall control of industry or service sector environmental aspects. It covers the requirements for compliance with legal and other requirements, as well as cost levelling, efficient use of resources, prevention of pollution and response to the requirements and expectations of customers, proprietors or founders of an organisation and other interested parties. Guidelines for an environmental management system are given in the ISO 14001 standard. By its adoption and application, an organisation can fulfil the environmental principles of its environmental policy, which makes it easier for it to control environmental hazards, continually improve and adapt to customer, market and regulatory requirements, scientific and technological progress.

Advantages of a systematic approach to environmental management:

  • improved methods of process management,
  • competitive advantage on the market,
  • increased trust of the public, customers and business partners,
  • support in cases of external monitoring by administrative bodies or customers,
  • systematically controlled cost and expense measures and lowered operational costs,
  • improved working conditions.

Main Activities for the Establishment of an Environmental Management System

  • management decision
  • initial environmental review
  • study of the requirements of the ISO 14004 and ISO 14001 standards
  • plan for the establishment of the system
  • identification of relevant environmental aspects and legal requirements
  • definition of environmental policy
  • definition of environmental objectives and targets, and environmental management programmes for achieving the set objectives and targets
  • identification of interested parties
  • development of communication channels
  • preparation of training programmes
  • measurement, maintenance and checking
  • continual improvement

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