MEL Health and Safety Consultants

Environmental Management Systems

Environmental Management Systems

An environmental management system (EMS) is comparable to other management systems that are used to manage quality and safety. It assesses your strengths and weaknesses, helps you identify and manage significant impacts, can secure cost savings and internal efficiencies, provides benchmarks for improvements and intended benefits and helps you keep track of your progress. It can be easily and practically integrated with other day-to-day processes such as health and safety management and quality assurance.

There are specific benefits to an EMS including better resource management, improved credibility and reliability of environmental information and reduction of any environmental and legal risks. You can also prove to customers that you are committed to meeting your environmental responsibilities by getting your EMS certified, such as through ISO 14001, BS 8555, Green Dragon or the Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS).

M.E.L. can show you how to set up and manage an EMS following the guidance outlined in the British Standard BS 8555, which makes the implementation process simpler by separating the EMS into specific stages.

The Benefits of an EMS

Setting up and running an environmental management system (EMS) can provide significant benefits across a number of areas of your business.

Key benefits

Running an effective EMS will help you with:

  • Better regulatory compliance - running an EMS will help ensure your legal responsibilities are met and more easily managed on a day-to-day basis.
  • More effective use of resources - you will have policies and procedures in place that help you manage waste and resources more effectively and reduce costs, and any environmental liabilities, such as waste emissions, will be easier to control and manage routinely.
  • Marketing -  running an EMS will help you prove your business credentials as an environmentally aware operation which has made a commitment to continual environmental improvement.
  • Finance - you may find it easier to raise investment from banks and other financial institutions, which are increasingly keen to see businesses controlling their environmental impact.
  • Increased sales opportunities - large businesses and government departments may only deal with businesses that have an EMS.
  • Lighter regulation - in many cases, an EMS may not be a regulatory requirement, but if you show your commitment to environmental management, regulators may view your business more favourably and you may benefit from reduced fees and charges levied by environmental regulators

Standards and EMS Certification

As with any system, you will need to invest some time setting up and managing an EMS, but if you do so successfully you can gain external certification, such as to ISO 14001, BS 8555, Green Dragon and the Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS). This can help you sell more effectively, particularly to government and environmentally aware customers.