The introduction of a management system is designed to systematise, manage and control business activities. In order to attain this objective, it is vital to have clear internal structures, set targets, define procedures and processes, and introduce tools for monitoring success.
The environmentally relevant activities of the company are controlled by means of an environmental management system. The main objectives are to reduce the negative environmental effects on an organisation while simultaneously improving its economic efficiency.
ISO 14001 and the EMAS Regulation form the basis for systematic environmental management:
ISO 14001 defines globally recognised requirements for an environmental management system. It can be applied both to manufacturing companies and service enterprises.
It lays emphasis on a continuous improvement process as a means of attaining each defined objective in relation to the environmental performance of an organisation. The continuous improvement process is based on the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) Cycle.
A corporate environmental policy, environmental targets and an environmental programme should be defined, and a corresponding management system should be introduced. The objectives in introducing the management system are to show the material and energy flows, formulate options and targets for reducing waste, waste water and emissions, thus saving costs, and increase awareness of environmental protection inside the company.
EMAS stands for Eco Management and Audit Scheme, and is an EU voluntary instrument which helps companies and organisations of every size and from every industry to continuously improve their environmental performance. EMAS is therefore the quality symbol of the European Union for company environmental management.
EMAS is the world's most demanding system for sustainable environmental management. All types of organisation are awarded the EU label if they satisfy the strict requirements in the EMAS Regulation.
The organisations provide information on their own environmental objectives and the implementation of these objectives in an annual EMAS Environmental Statement. This Statement is accessible to the general public and is validated by a state-supervised, independent environmental expert.
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