An environmental management system (EMS) is a formal framework for improving environmental performance and running a leaner operation overall. When you are proactive about management, the right thing for the environment doesn’t have to be the wrong thing for your business. An environmental management system is a powerful tool for reducing waste and improving efficiency, without sacrificing profits.
NQA has helped a wide range of clients to improve their environmental performance, energy efficiency and sustainability. Get in touch if you would like to improve your environmental footprint.
WHY IMPLEMENT AN EMS?
Complying with environmental legislation and meeting the demands of the green lobby present major challenges to organisations today. With a proactive environmental management system in place, however, your organisation can turn that challenge into an opportunity. EMS certification to ISO 14001 or related standards helps you achieve real cost savings. An effective EMS is based on a continual improvement cycle, in which the daily operation of your business drives further increases in efficiency.
Continual refining and improvement in an ISO 14001 based environmental management system is a four-step process:
Plan: Establish plans and processes for environmental performance improvement
Do: Implement the processes as planned
Check: Regularly check to ensure that processes are followed and effective
Act: Take actions to continually improve
This spurs increased efficiency, positions you for growth and allows your organisation to enjoy a number of other useful benefits.
BENEFITS OF AN EMS
Once implemented, an environmental management system will help your business achieve:
Real cost savings: EMS programmes can not only reduce your organisation’s use of resources, they can also streamline your workflows and processes. This can translate into lower shipping and purchasing costs, improved productivity and less product lost due to spoilage or error.
Scalable, sustainable growth: Effective environmental management can have economic benefits, too. Through the ongoing cost savings inherent in a cycle of continual improvement your organisation is better positioned to manage the challenges of expanding your market share or moving into new territories.
A smoother path to compliance: An EMS based in industry-recognised best practices for environmental management — such as those outlined in ISO 14001 — can help you comply with future environmental regulations as they come into force within your industry.
An improved reputation: Environmental issues have come to the forefront in recent years with greater awareness amongst legislators, investors, customers, employees and the general public. The international community is looking at ways of reducing the impact on the environment to ensure it is protected for future generations. Implementing a formal EMS creates greater engagement with staff and stakeholders, and positions you as an environmental leader in your field.
EMS IN PRACTICE
Many people may consider the practicalities of environmental care to be beyond individuals but, in reality, it is very easy for everyone to reduce environmental damage. The smallest measures can make a significant difference, such as reducing the volume of waste generated, or by using resources more efficiently.
There is also a collective result: if everybody and every organization decided that they could make a worthy contribution, and then huge progress would be achieved to protect the environment. We see this at the organizational level when an EMS is put in place. Working together, staff generate real savings and other benefits from the ground floor upwards. For this reason, an EMS should be treated as more than just a regulatory necessity; rather, it is a:
Practical tool for managing your impact on the environment
Framework for continual improvement and responsible growth
Process for engaging internal and external stakeholders
At its heart, an EMS involves a cycle of planning, doing, checking and acting in a more sustainable way. It is a philosophy that guides every aspect of your operation, rather than a quick fix.
More than two-thirds of Fortune 250 companies have implemented environmental management system standards in their organisation. The best way to begin is to contact an NQA representative for assistance. We can help you identify the specific registration most applicable to your business and provide the auditing services necessary to achieve certification.
As one of the UK’s leading certification bodies for environmental management systems, we can serve clients of any size, in any industry. To learn more about how an EMS can benefit you, contact us today.