The GDRC project on "EMS for Cities" attempts to draw the broad umbrella within which 'everything' can be included in the process of developing environmental management systems (EMS) for cities. The project particularly focuses on ISO 14001.
ISO 14001 defines a voluntary environmental management system. Used in conjunction with appropriate goals, and with management commitment, the standards help improve environmental performance and reduce negative impacts. They provide an objective basis for verifying claims about a local government's environmental performance in its day-to-day operations.
Consumers, governments and companies up and down the supply and production chain are all seeking ways to reduce their environmental impact and increase their long-run sustainability. For local governments, the key goals are to be environmentally efficient, and serve as a model for resource-saving and replication.
It is important to note that the ISO 14000 series do not themselves specify environmental performance goals. These must be set by the local government or city itself, taking into account the effects it has on the environment, and the views of its stakeholders.