For many business owners, making the first step to creating a greener business is often as simple as switching to more efficient light bulbs. But where to from there?
An Environmental Management System (EMS) is a long-term solution that you can set in place to manage your current and future environmental impact. An EMS integrates environmental management into your business' daily operations, long term planning and other quality management systems. You can develop a simple plan for managing your EMS or a more comprehensive one that can be certified under the international standard ISO 14001.
There are a number of components in an EMS, including:
- identifying environmental impacts
- objectives and targets
- operational and emergency procedures
- responsibilities and reporting structure
- continual improvement.
Your business can benefit from implementing an EMS by making more efficient use of resources, making licences and permits easier to obtain and helping you meet your own environmental goals.
If you think you'll seek to have your EMS accredited, make sure you consider the following questions:
- Do your customers think having a certified EMS is important?
- Do your competitors have a certified EMS?
- Have your competitors benefited from being certified?
While an accredited EMS can give your business more recognition from your customers, if you are a small business it may take up a considerable amount of time and effort for you to implement.
What to do...