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 organizational structure, planning and resources for developing, implementing and maintaining policy for environmental protection.

More formally, EMS is "a system and database which integrates procedures and processes for training of personnel, monitoring, summarizing, and reporting of specialized environmental performance information to internal and external stakeholders of a firm."[1]

The most widely used standard on which an EMS is based is International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 14001.[2] Alternatives include the EMAS.

An environmental management information system (EMIS) is an information technology solution for tracking environmental data for a company as part of their overall environmental management system.[3]


The goals of EMS are to increase compliance and reduce waste:[4]

To meet these goals, the selection of environmental management systems is typically subject to a certain set of criteria: a proven capability to handle high frequency data, high performance indicators, transparent handling and processing of data, powerful calculation engine, customised factor handling, multiple integration capabilities, automation of workflows and QA processes and in-depth, flexible reporting.[5]


An environmental management system (EMS):[2]


EMS Model

The PDCA cycle[6]

An EMS follows a Plan-Do-Check-Act, or PDCA, Cycle. The diagram shows the process of first developing an environmental policy, planning the EMS, and then implementing it. The process also includes checking the system and acting on it. The model is continuous because an EMS is a process of continual improvement in which an organization is constantly reviewing and revising the system.[7]

This is a model that can be used by a wide range of organizations — from manufacturing facilities to service industries to government agencies.

Other meanings

An EMS can also be classified as

Examples of environmental management systems

See also


  1. 1 2 Sroufe, Robert. "Effects of Environmental Management Systems on Environmental Management Practices and Operations." Production and Operations Management. 12-3 (2003): 416-431.
  2. 1 2 Melnyk, Steven A., Robert P. Sroufe, and Roger Calantone. "Assessing the Impact of Environmental Management Systems on Corporate and Environmental Performance."
  3. El-Gayar, Omar; Fritz, Brian D. (2006). "Environmental Management Information Systems (EMIS) for Sustainable Development: A Conceptual Overview". Communications of the Association for Information Systems. Association for Information Systems. 17. ISSN 1529-3181. OCLC 796028508. |article= ignored (help)
  4. Sayre, D., 1996. Inside ISO 14001: the competitive advantage of environmental management. St. Lucie Press, Delray,Beach, FL.
  5. "8 things to consider when selecting software for managing high frequency data", Emisoft, https://www.emisoft.com/8-things-to-look-for-when-selecting-software-for-managing-high-frequency-environmental-data/
  6. "Taking the First Step with PDCA". 2 February 2009. Retrieved 17 March 2011.
  7. Gastl, R: CIP in Environmental Management, an abstract of Gastl, R: Kontinuierliche Verbesserung im Umweltmanagement, 2nd Edition, 2009, vdf, Zurich Switzerland.
  8. http://www.commengineering.com/commtracker-ems.html
  9. http://www.echome.co.uk/renewable-energy-services/heating-and-lighting-controls/


External links

Other benefits can be found on the Envirowise website, a UK Government funded portal.

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