Benefits of EMS
There are a number of benefits to implementing EMS and these include the following:
- involvement of the whole organization (as it is needed for successful pollution prevention),
- continuous improvement of the system due to the ongoing EMS process,
- increased ability to comply with regulations due to the proactive approach for pollution prevention and control,
- reduced training for new employees as they are quickly involved in the process,
- improved image with the public and regulators due to the voluntary environmental management initiative, and
- increased efficiency and reduced costs due to all of the above.
Cost of EMS
The major cost of EMS is actually staff time for participating in all aspects of EMS implementation. Successful EMS implementation requires employee buy-in at all levels of the organization and administrative support, and training of personnel in EMS. Implementing EMS also requires technical resources, but they are needed for any pollution prevention activity.
EMS Vs Environmental Audit
One thing to clarify about EMS is that it is not the same as an Environmental Audit. Environmental Audit is usually conducted to identify non-compliance to standards. That is, the activities of an organization is audited or carefully analyzed to identify which ones do not meet the environmental standards. Environmental Audit results only in identifying activities that do not meet the standards, but does not correct the root cause of the environmental problems. EMS, on the other hand, results in correcting the problems so that an organization’s activities meet the environmental standards.