Environment Management System

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QUESTION:
What is Environmental Management System?
Explain its importance.
Discuss elements of EMS.

ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

Environmental management system (EMS) refers to the management of an organization's environmental programs in a comprehensive, systematic, planned and documented manner. It includes the organisational structure, planning and resources for developing, implementing and maintaining policy for environmental protection. 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-term impacts of its products, services and processes on the environment. -Gives order and consistency for organizations to address environmental concerns through the allocation of resources, assignment of responsibility and ongoing evaluation of practices, procedures and processes. -Focuses on continual improvement of the system.

An Environment Management System, or EMS, is a comprehensive approach to managing environmental issues, integrating environment-oriented thinking into every aspect of business management. An EMS ensures environmental considerations are a priority, along with other concerns such as costs, product quality, investments, PR productivity and strategic planning. An EMS generally makes a positive impact on a company's bottom line. It increases efficiency and focuses on customer needs and marketplace conditions, improving both the company's financial and environmental performance. By using an EMS to convert environmental problems into commercial opportunities, companies usually become more competitive. An Environmental Management System (EMS) is a globally embraced organizational management practice that allows an organization to strategically address its environmental issues and well as related health and safety matters. EMS implementation reflects accepted quality management principles based on the “Plan, Do, Check, Act,” model using a standard process to identify current activities, establish goals, implement plans to meet the goals, determine progress, and make improvements to ensure continual improvement. Implementation of an EMS begins with a comprehensive evaluation of an organization’s operations and activities to determine how they can or do impact the environment. The EMS process then establishes goals and programs to address those impacts and improve efficiencies in the environmental footprint of the organization. The resulting plans are deployed throughout the organization, usually through existing management mechanisms. As the system evolves, it is evaluated to determine whether the goals are being met and, if necessary, plans are amended to achieve the intended goals and continue the improvement process. Each of these elements also serves to make the organization more efficient and prepared to focus on its mission.

Why EMS?
The reasons why many companies are now adopting an Environmental Management System includes the following:
Improve compliance with legislative and regulatory requirements. •Facilitate access to overseas markets.
Reduce liability/risks.
Helps in attracting a high-quality work force.
Prevent pollution and reduce waste.
Generate a desire to profit in the market for "green" products. •Improve the internal management methods.
Serves the interests of the shareholder groups.
Create community goodwill.
Helps in getting insurance coverage.

Benefits of EMS

Cost Savings:
Successful environmental management will evaluate all opportunities for cost savings, the most common benefits derive from a review of resource/ energy utilisation and its efficiency, forcing full consideration of alternative energy sources and their cost effectiveness. The other primary element will be minimisation of waste and result and cost...
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