The establishment of an environmental management system (EMS) is an effective way for organisations to demonstrate an ethical commitment to sustainable development, now a major part of corporate social responsibility (CSR) – a key element to maintaining a brand’s reputation.
Businesses can operate in a sustainable manner by adopting social, economic and environmental standards that mean the needs of the present day are achieved without threatening those of future generations. In short, an EMS ensures that the impact an organisation has on the environment and their ‘carbon footprint’ can be minimised in a formalised and systematic way so that performance standards aren’t negatively affected as a consequence.
Although it is possible to implement a ‘home grown’ EMS, many organisations prefer to have a system independently verified, for instance, by ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management System certification or through registration with the EU Eco Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS).
Some organisations can develop an EMS in a relatively short space of time, whereas others may need to space their initiatives over time and develop competence through external training and the use of external specialist advice.