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Environmental Management System

Environmental Management System

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Published by: Sailaja Sankar Sahoo on Mar 28, 2012
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Environmental management system
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article
needs additional citations for verification
.Please help improve this
 
article by adding citations to reliable sources.Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. 
(February 2011)
 
 
This article
needs attention from an expert on the subject
. See the talk page for
 
details. WikiProject Environment or the Environment Portalmay be able to help
 
recruit an expert.
(November 2008)
 
Environmental management system
(EMS) refers to the management of an organization's environmentalprograms in a comprehensive, systematic, planned and documented manner. It includes the organisationalstructure, planning and resources for developing, implementing and maintaining policy for environmentalprotection.An Environmental Management System (EMS):
 
Serves as a tool to improve environmental performance
 
Provides a systematic way of managing an organization’s environmental affairs
 
 
Is the aspect of the organization’s overall management structure
that addresses immediate and long-termimpacts of its products, services and processes on the environment
 
Gives order and consistency for organizations to address environmental concerns through the allocation ofresources, assignment of responsibility and ongoing evaluation of practices, procedures and processes
 
Focuses on continual improvement of the system
Contents
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What is the EMS Model?
An EMS follows a Plan-Do-Check-Act Cycle, or PDCA. The diagram shows the process of first developing anenvironmental policy, planning the EMS, and then implementing it. The process also includes checking thesystem and acting on it. The model is continuous because an EMS is a process of continual improvement inwhich an organization is constantly reviewing and revising the system.
 This is a model that can be used by a wide range of organizations
from manufacturing facilities to serviceindustries to government agencies.
What are ISO, ISO 14000,and ISO 14001?
ISO stands for the International Organization for Standardization,located in Geneva, Switzerland. ISO 14000 refers to a family of voluntary standards and guidance documents to help organizations addressenvironmental issues. Included in the family are standards for Environmental Management Systems,environmental and EMS auditing, environmental labeling, performance evaluation and life-cycle assessment.In September 1996, the International Organization for Standardization published the first edition of ISO 14001,the Environmental Management Systems standard. This is an international voluntary standard describingspecific requirements for an EMS. ISO 14001 is a specification standard to which an organization may receivecertification or registration. ISO 14001 is considered the foundation document of the entire series. A secondedition of ISO 14001 was published in 2004, updating the standard.ISO14001 is the dominant environmental management system in the world. 
How are these standards developed?
All the ISO standards are developed through a voluntary, consensus-based approach. ISO has differentmember countries across the globe. Each member country develops its position on the standards and thesepositions are then negotiated with other member countries. Draft versions of the standards are sent out forformal written comment and each country casts its official vote on the drafts at the appropriate stage of theprocess. Within each country, various types of organizations can and do participate in the process. Theseorganizations include industry, government (federal and state), and other interested parties, like various non-government organizations. For example, EPA and states participated in the development of the ISO 14001standard and are now evaluating its usefulness through a variety of pilot projects.
Legislation and standards
The Environmental Liability Directive [ELD] 2004/35/EC is one of the most important instruments that yourbusiness will need to comply with and must be included in you EMS. It came into force across Europe during2009 and for example it became law on the 1st March 2009 converting the various national PollutionPrevention Guidelines (PPGs) such as the UK PPG11, PPG18 and PPG21 into requirements where failure to
 
comply can result in fines and more significantly reformation / reinstatement costs which can run into manymillions of Euro or Dollars. Within this Directive is a requirement to mitigate the effects of events such as spillsand firewater,the latter is the runoff from fires. Within the European Union (EU) legislation was introduced to encourage businesses to voluntarily adopt ISO14000. Regulation (EC) No 761/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 March 2001, allowedvoluntary participation by organisations in a Community eco-management and audit scheme Eco-Managementand Audit Scheme (EMAS).The implementation of a robust EMS, which may incorporate ISO 14001, should lead to improve environmentalperformance, including better and more consistent legal compliance.The ISO 14000 standards reflect different aspects of environmental management. The following list outlines the broad coverage of each:
 
Environmental Management Systems:
 
14001-2004, 14002, 14004
 
Environmental Auditing:
 
14011
 
Environmental Labeling:
 
14020, 14021, 14022, 14023, 14024, 14025
 
Life Cycle Assessment:
 
14040, 14041, 14042, 14043
Financial
 
Cost savings through the reduction of waste and more efficient use of natural resources (electricity, water,gas and fuels.)
 
Avoiding fines and penalties from not meeting environmental legislation by identifying environmental risksand addressing weaknesses.
 
Reduction in insurance costs by demonstrating better risk management...
Operational and internal
 
Improved overall performance and efficiency.
 
Able to monitor and reflect (audit) your business and see which areas need intervention
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