An EMS is ...
a quality-based management system that effectively integrates environmental considerations into an organization's day-to-day operations and management culture.
Here is a quick look at the elements of most EMS frameworks:
- Environmental policy - Develop a statement of your organization's commitment to the environment. Use this policy as a framework for planning and action.
- Environmental aspects - Identify environmental attributes of your products, activities and services. Determine those that could have significant impacts on the environment.
- Legal and other requirements - Identify and ensure access to relevant laws and regulations, as well as other requirements to which your organization adheres.
- Objectives and targets - Establish environmental goals for your organization, in line with your policy, environmental impacts, the views of interested parties and other factors.
- Environmental management program - Plan actions necessary to achieve your objectives and targets.
- Structure and responsibility - Establish roles and responsibilities for environmental management and provide appropriate resources.
- Training, awareness and competence - Ensure that your employees are trained and capable of carrying out their environmental responsibilities.
- Communication - Establish processes for internal and external communications on environmental management issues.
- EMS documentation - Maintain information on your EMS and related documents.
- Document control - Ensure effective management of procedures and other system documents.
- Operational control - Identify, plan and manage your operations and activities in line with your policy, objectives and targets.
- Emergency preparedness and response - Identify potential emergencies and develop procedures for preventing and responding to them.
- Monitoring and measurement - Monitor key activities and track performance. Conduct periodic assessments of compliance with legal requirements.
- Nonconformance and corrective and preventive action - Identify and correct problems and prevent their recurrence.
- Records - Maintain and manage records of EMS performance.
- EMS audit - Periodically verify that your EMS is operating as intended.
- Management review - Periodically review your EMS with an eye to continual improvement.