Developing and Implementing Environmental Management System (EMS)

Environmental, Urban & Regional Planning

Course Overview

Develop the knowledge and skill required to implement an ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management System (EMS).

Businesses are becoming more aware of the environmental implications of their operations, products and services. Increase long-term profitability with an internationally recognized EMS that will continue to benefit you in the future. Implementing a framework based on ISO 14001:2015 allows your organization to reduce environmental impacts and increase operating efficiency. This can help you cut waste, prevent pollution and save resources.Gain the required skills to conduct a base-line review of your organization's current position and implement the key principles of ISO 14001:2015. Using a step-by-step approach, you'll learn how to develop an implementation plan, create necessary documentation, monitor your EMS and achieve continual environmental improvement.

Our expert Facilitators will guide you from scoping your environmental policy needs to putting these in place and monitoring your overall EMS.

Course Objectives

  • Identify key benefits to your organization from implementing an effective EMS
  • Develop a plan and determine the resources required for the implementation
  • Apply good practice to the implementation using proven tools and techniques
  • Implement a system that considers socio-economic needs and environmental conditions
  • Provide products and services that consistently meet customer and regulatory environmental requirements
  • Identify the objectives and benefits of an EMS and the requirements of ISO 14001/EMAR.
  • Assess an organisation's current state with regards to an EMS and perform a gap analysis to meet EMS standards.
  • Plan, develop and implement an EMS appropriate to your organisation.
  • Identify environmental aspects and impacts relevant to your organisation with the emphasis on improvement.

Course Outline

Define Organization's Goals for EMS

The first step in EMS planning is to decide why you are pursuing the development of an EMS. Are you trying to improve your environmental performance (e.g., compliance with regulations or prevent pollution)? Write your goals down and refer back to them frequently as you move forward. As you design and implement the EMS, ask the following questions: How is this task going to help us achieve our goals? How should we define the project scope? (i.e., What is the "organization" that the EMS will cover? One location or multiple locations? Should we "pilot" the EMS at one location then implement the system at other locations later?)

Secure Top Management Commitment

One of the most critical steps in the planning process is gaining top management's commitment to support EMS development and implementation. Management must first understand the benefits of an EMS and what it will take to put an EMS in place. To develop this understanding, explain the strengths and limitations of your current approach and how those limitations can affect the organization's financial and environmental performances. Management also has a role in ensuring that the goals for the EMS are clear and consistent with other organizational goals. Management's commitment should be communicated across the organization.

Select An EMS Champion

Not all small or medium-sized organizations have the luxury of choosing among multiple candidates, but your choice of project champion is critical. The champion should have the necessary authority, an understanding of the organization, and project management skills. The champion should be a "systems thinker" (ISO 9000 or ISO 14001 experience can be a plus, but is not necessary), should have the time to commit to the EMS-building process, and must have top management support.

Build An Implementation Team

A team with representatives from key management functions (such as engineering, finance, human resources, production and/or service) can identify and assess issues, opportunities, and existing processes. Include contractors, suppliers or other external parties as part of the project team, where appropriate. The team will need to meet regularly, especially in the early stages of the project. A cross-functional team can help to ensure that procedures are practical and effective, and can build commitment to and "ownership" of the EMS.

Hold Kick-Off Meeting

Once the team has been selected, hold a kick-off meeting to discuss the organization's objectives in implementing an EMS, the initial steps that need to be taken and the roles of team members. If possible, get top management to describe its commitment to the EMS at this meeting. The kick-off meeting is also a good opportunity to provide some EMS training for team members. Follow-up this meeting with a communication to all employees.

Conduct Preliminary Review

The next step is for the team to conduct a preliminary review of your current compliance and other environmental programs/systems, and to compare these against the criteria for your EMS (such as ISO 14001). Evaluate your organization's structure, procedures, policies, environmental impacts, training programs and other factors.

Prepare Budget and Schedule

Based on the results of the preliminary review, prepare a project plan and budget. The plan should describe in detail what key actions are needed, who will be responsible, what resources are needed, and when the work will be completed. Keep the plan flexible, but set some stretch goals. Think about how you will maintain project focus and momentum over time. Look for potential "early successes" that can help to build momentum and reinforce the benefits of the EMS.

Secure Resources, Assistance

The plan and budget should be reviewed and approved by top management. In some cases, there may be outside funding or other types of assistance that you can use (from a trade association, a state technical assistance office, etc.). 

Involve Employees

Ownership of the EMS will be greatly enhanced by meaningful employee involvement in the EMS development process. Employees are a great source of knowledge on environmental, and health and safety issues related to their work areas as well as on the effectiveness of current processes and procedures. These employees can help the project team in drafting procedures.

Monitor and Communicate Progress

As you build the EMS, be sure to regularly monitor your progress against the goals and project plan, and communicate this progress within the organization. Be sure to communicate the accomplishments that have been made and describe what happens next. Build on small successes. Be sure to keep top management informed and engaged, especially if additional resources might be required.

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