As your business grows, no matter what industry you’re in, your impact on the environment grows exponentially. From waste production to CO2 emissions, your business activities affect the environment. In Australia and New Zealand, certain environmental legislations require compliance by businesses before any permits or certifications can be issued. Environmental management systems (EMS) enable businesses such as yours to develop and implement policies and objectives that consider legal requirements, and allow your company to run efficiently.
There are two foremost EMS models: ISO 14001 environmental management system and the Compliance-Focused EMS (CFEMS). The latter is actually implemented according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards. The primary concern of the CFEMS is to achieve sustainable environmental compliance. Meanwhile, the ISO 14001 EMS establishes and implements continual environmental improvement. It is a guarantee to business partners or clients of your company’s commitment to providing benchmarks for improvement.
In establishing your environmental management system, you need to determine a number of things to ensure its implementation not only gets a nod of approval from a legitimate certifying body, but also allows your day-to-day operations to run as smoothly as possible.
First, you must verify your legal obligations by looking up legislation. Second, create an environmental policy that clearly outlines how your business intends to handle impact and definitively state the commitments you’re prepared to undertake. Such commitments will include educating and training you employees to work within the policy.
Once you’ve figured out your environmental policy, you need to set targets and objectives to be certain that it is followed by your employees. Your targets and objectives should always be time-limited, specific, and realistic. It is admirable to go above and beyond what is legally required when it comes to your EMS. However, you might not have enough resources to achieve targets that might require more funding.
In creating your EMS, you must also consider how it compares to other businesses, as a way of benchmarking your company’s environmental performance.
Successful implementation of your EMS depends heavily on how easy it is to understand. Structure and language are critical to providing a comprehensible environmental management system manual. From specific targets to the operational procedures for controlling impact, every guideline must be clear to those implementing it. After creating and implementing your EMS, monitoring and updating come next. This ensures that your policies and procedures are effective and never outdated.
An EMS is a guide to running your business efficiently and cost-effectively. Whether you’re operating a car manufacturing company or a restaurant, adopting a suitable EMS will not only make your business better, but it’ll also enable you to make the environment better.