• A policy

  • Identification and prioritization of environmental attributes (aspects and impacts)

  • Goals or objectives or targets

  • Implementation plans, milestones, and timelines to meet goals

  • Definitions of roles and responsibilities

  • Training and competency needs of workforce

  • Operational controls and work procedures to manage environmental attributes

  • Communications procedures and document controls

  • Emergency planning and response

  • Monitoring and measurement, that includes regulatory compliance and EMS auditing, and corrective action mechanisms

  • Senior management reviews leading to continual improvement

While these basic components define a framework, environmental management is a broader term that also encompasses the organization’s overall culture, commitment, and approach to achieve performance goal, said Pinero. For this to happen, management needs to identify the appropriate measurements to achieve goals and, at the same time, ensure that the organizational culture, leadership, and corporation’s mission and operation are in step with environmental management.

The management system model is built on the premise that senior management is consistently participating or otherwise involved in management system implementation. The role of management is critical, not only for the specific responsibility of providing resources and accountability, but also for providing the leadership message and the commitment to stewardship. There are key points where senior management has a defined role and where their ongoing support is critical; for example, organization’s policy, management review, the mission, vision, and support for improved environmental procedures, noted Pinero.

However, understanding why procedures are performed will produce more responsible action in the future, because the individual will appreciate the implications of their actions. Thus at all organizational levels, individuals must share the commitment to achieve company goals for sustainable environmental practices.

Best Practices

Despite wide implementation of the overall framework, EMSs are quite varied across organizations, noted Pinero. They vary in their content, coverage, and spectrum. In general, an effective EMS has three characteristics that lead to the benefits of sustainable practices. First, an EMS directs and facilitates relevant



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement