Clearly there are many environmental actions being undertaken, and tools already in place, in cities and local governments that need to be taken into consideration in designing and implementing an EMS. It is this 'umbrella' nature of EMS that enable its quick adoption and implementation. Its attractiveness as a tool to inspire and engage local stakeholders in environmental action should also be taken into account.
There are essentially three clusters that can be linked to, and used to justify the implementation of an EMS's significant environmental aspects. The first cluster relate to existing environmental action plans such as Local Agenda 21 or other Environmental Plans mandated by national laws and regulations.
The second cluster of interlinkages related to the family of ISO standards within ISO 14000 (of which ISO 14001-EMS is a part). These are related to environmental management targetting the public and private sector. For example, green procurement policies, eco-labelling, LCA, environmental auditing, impact assessment etc.
The third cluster of tools that feed into an EMS are the broader range of ISO standards especially those related to the environment, and targetting all urban stakeholders.
This constellation of tools clustered around an EMS initiative is critical for two reasons - to support and enhance the EMS initiative itself, and to ensure that overlaps and conflicts are also avoided.