Environmental management system implementation questionnaire

Environmental Management System

An ISO 14001 environmental management system (or commonly referred to as an EMS) is a structured system designed to help organisations manage their environmental impacts and improve environmental performance caused by their products, services and activities. An environmental management system provides structure to environmental management and covers areas such as training, record management, inspections, objectives and policies.

Implementation of an environmental management system requires the following steps to be completed by an organisation:

Development of an environmental policy that reflects its commitments;

Appointment of a person(s) responsible for its coordination;

Identification of how the organisation interacts with the environment;

Identification of actual and potential environmental impacts;

Identification of relevant legal and other requirements;

ISO 14001 Participation Survey Results for environmental management systemsEstablishment of environmental objectives, targets and programs;

Monitoring and measurement of the progress to achieve its objectives;

Reviewing the system and environmental performance; and

Continuous improvement of the organisation's environmental performance.

By design the system and environmental performance run in a continuous improvement cycle outlined in the diagram below.

Currently in Australia there are over 2, 000 organisations certified to the ISO 14001 environmental management system standard. Up to the end of December 2008 there were over 188, 000 organisations globally certified. A total of 155 countries had organisations participating in the scheme. The diagram below illustrates the ISO 2008 survey results for the standard. It should be noted there are many more organisations with environmental management systems not certified to the ISO 14001 standard.

What is ISO 14000 and ISO 14004?

ISO 14000 refers to the environmental management standards series.

ISO 14001 environmental management system standard should be used in conjunction with ISO 14004 Environmental managements systems – General guidelines on principles, systems and support techniques. ISO 14004 provides guidelines for the elements of an environmental management system and its implementation.

What is the Eco-Management and Audit Scheme?

The Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) is an organisational management tool for the evaluation, reporting and continuous improvement of environmental performance. The scheme has been successfully integrated into many business types in the EU where it is defined in legislation and the uptake is on a voluntary level.

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