All organisational activities, products and services interact with, and have some effect upon the environment. It is now generally recognised that to deal with this complexity most effectively, all organisations with a significant potential environmental impact need to establish and operationalise suitable environmental management systems (EMS). To provide a measure of verifiable quality assurance, ESI recommend that organisations should aim to obtain accreditation for their EMS to an internationally recognised standard such as ISO14001.
An effective EMS provides an organisation with the ability to balance and integrate economic and environmental interests by providing a means for balancing beneficial effects (e.g. cost savings through improved efficiency, reduced environmental liabilities etc.) with adverse effects on the environment arising from resource consumptions and emissions for pollutants.
Benefits may often also be translated into a financial advantage through an enhanced image and market share, and the meeting of vendor certification criteria. Indeed, it seems likely from examining trends internationally that possession of an EMS certified to a standard, such as ISO14001, may become increasingly a condition of doing business.
There are many other benefits of having an effective EMS in place, amongst these are:
- the development of the so-called the fast “trust track” between an organisation and its regulatory body;
- the presence of an accredited EMS provides assurance that environmental policies and objectives have been set and will be subject to ongoing monitoring and assessment; and
- that the organisation can provide further evidence, if required to do so, of reasonable care for environmental concerns and of regulatory compliance.
ESI is fortunate to be able to utilise the services of Mr. Matthias Gelber who is one of the world’s foremost EMS specialists. Mr. Gelber has assisted clients in setting EMSs for ISO 14000 certification in more than 25 countries worldwide.