EMS and ISO 14001
What is an Environmental Management System (EMS)?
An EMS is a structured framework for managing an organization's environmental performance.
Briefly, an EMS will:
- PLAN - Identify an organization's environmental aspects and impacts;
- DO - Implement environmental policies, goals, and programs to protect the environment and conserve resources;
- CHECK - Consistently monitor the system and make adjustments when necessary, and;
- ACT - Continually improve the system by setting new goals and implementing new programs to better our environmental performance.
|Did you know?|
Since its introduction in 1996, the ISO 14001 model has been the most widely used and highly regarded EMS in the world. More than 66, 000 ISO 14001 certificates have been issued in 113 countries. That is a growing rate of approximately 30% per year!
An EMS allows an organization to analyze, control and reduce the environmental impact of its activities, products and services. It also establishes a framework for organizations to comply with all relevant environmental legislation and regulations.
What is ISO 14001?
ISO 14001 is an international standard that provides organizations with a structure for managing and improving environmental performance. This Standard follows the model noted above: Plan, Do, Check, Act.
Why are governments choosing to implement Environmental Management Systems?
- ISO 14001 is the most commonly implemented EMS in the world; providing guidelines all organizations must meet in order to become ISO 14001 Certified.
- ISO requires management systems to be audited by a third-party (independent) organization in order to receive certification. This means, certified management systems have undergone rigorous external auditing to ensure they are effective and complete.
- Certified EMS's ensure the public and other stakeholders that an organization is doing everything in its power to effectively manage their environmental responsibilities.
Environmental Management Systems were initially adopted by industries to improve their public image and access new market niches with "environmentally-friendly" products. Pressure on industries to implement Environmental Management Systems arose from consumer demand, international market competition, and environmentalists. In 1996, "ISO 14001" was created to address this increasing demand for an internationally-recognized EMS and create a Standard that would ensure consumers all ISO registered companies were following the same model.
More recently, governments from around the world are choosing to implement Environmental Management Systems for a wide range of reasons: from increased public expectations and environmental awareness to managing growth and infrastructure expansions, as well as meeting increasingly stringent regulatory standards. An EMS can help local governments reduce their environmental impact while also reducing their costs of operations through increased operating efficiency.
What are some benefits of implementing an EMS?
- Improved environmental performance
- Prevention of pollution and reduced resource consumption
- Reduced liability and improved legal compliance
- Reduced operational costs and increased operational efficiency
- Fewer environmental and safety related accidents
- Heightening employee environmental awareness and staff involvement
- Enhanced public trust and confidence in operations and management
- Improved management of population growth and aging facilities
For information on the Liquid Waste Department's EMS [ Click Here
How can I get more information?
Contact the Liquid Waste Department
Nanaimo Area: (250) 390-6560
Parksville/Qualicum Beach Area: (250) 954-3792
Toll Free in BC: 1-877-607-4111