Environmental Management System

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Environmental Management System


A Guidebook for Improving Energy and
Environmental Performance in Local

An Environmental Management System (EMS) is a systematic
approach for incorporating energy and environmental goals and
priorities (such as energy use and regulatory compliance) into
routine operations. While some sort of de facto system is
inherent to any organization that must meet energy and
environmental requirements as part of daily operations, it is
generally accepted as a valuable step to formalize the approach
by documenting it. Not only does documentation of the system
ensure consistency over time and across employees, there is a
growing body of evidence indicating that there is considerable
value in defining a systematic approach to managing energy and
environmental goals.
Please note that, while this guidebook refers to “Energy and
Environmental” in many locations, it is understood that an EMS
encompasses a wide perspective, including the consumption of
natural resources such as water, air and various energy sources,
as well as the more traditional concepts of waste generation and
disposal, pollution and use of human resources. The US EPA
defines an EMS as “a set [or system] of processes and practices
that enable an organization to reduce its environmental impacts
and increase its operating efficiency.” This focus on processes
and practices is common to all EMSs, which are generally
founded on the “Plan, Do Check, Feedback” cycle 1 of
continuous improvement

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