The costs and benefits of implementing an environmental management system
The concept of environmental management systems (EMS) has developed as a way of recognising the need for change in the way individuals and organisations manage resources. The EMS approach has derived from quality management with the primary aims being to allow organisations to demonstrate consistent environmental performance as well as assisting in meeting environmental objectives as dictated by legislation and the organisation's policy. The types of areas that are addressed include preservation of resources, waste reduction and pollution prevention. An EMS is best driven from within rather than without. Best performance in terms of best environmental outcomes will be achieved when an organisation is committed to an established environmental policy, rather than simply seeking to comply with legislative requirements. Links with quality management have already been noted. Quality issues concentrate on the information requirements side of the implementation of EMS. The quality of information is critical to establishing and evaluating the outcomes of EMS. Some of the tools that may be applied in assuring the quality of information include environmental auditing, life cycle analysis, and risk assessment. This report is concerned primarily with the costs and benefits to an organisation of implementing an EMS. The costs and benefits of accreditation and certification to a are also considered. These are used to derive a set of criteria that can be used to assess the costs and benefits for a particular organisation, within the established legislative framework. This will be of value to the organisation in enabling it to measure the net benefits of implementing an EMS. Finally, the criteria developed are specified in a checklist form that can be applied by different organisations to determine the relative importance of the costs and benefits specific to that organisation.... [Show full abstract]
Keywordseconomic development; environmental aspects; cost effectiveness; natural resources; environmental impact analysis; Environmental Management Systems (EMS); risk assessment; environmental management
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