Lying at the core of the environment standard of ISO14001 is the development and implement of an environmental mangement system (EMS). ISO14001 stipulates that an EMS must contain five main requirements: (1) Environmental Policy, (2) Planning, (3) Implementation, (4) Checking and Corrective Action, and (5) Management Review .
The objective of this section is to provide an overview of the five elements. Actually putting an EMS in place requires resources - human and other - to be utilized. The best and first step towards an EMS, especially for a local government, is to setup an Citizen's EMS Committee that will help the city to develop and implement an EMS with appropriate assisstance.
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Some of the key lessons learnt from cities that have tried EMS is that commitment to the EMS begins with top level support. An EMS is built around sets of procedures - which is what makes it a 'management' system! The most effective way to implement an EMS is to align existing environmental processes, manuals and procedures with ISO14001 (through a gap analysis). It is critical to have one person to be made responsible for the EMS, who makes sure records are in order to prove actions, and communication and training are implemented as a part of the EMS.