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Environmental Management Systems (EMS) for Business by EPA

Environmental Management System (EMS) practices help business managers reduce environmental impacts and increase operating efficiency.

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An Environmental Management System (EMS) is a set of processes and practices that enable an organization to reduce its environmental impacts and increase its operating efficiency. This Web site provides information and resources related to EMS for businesses, associations, the public, and state and federal agencies. An Environmental Management Plan allows an organization to systematically manage its environmental and health safety matters.

Benefits of an Environmental Management Plan to Business

EMS can result in both business and environmental benefits. For example, an EMS may help you:

  • Improve environmental performance
  • Enhance compliance
  • Prevent pollution and conserve resources
  • Reduce/mitigate risks
  • Attract new customers and markets (or at least retain access to customers and markets with EMS requirements)
  • Increase efficiency
  • Reduce costs
  • Enhance employee morale and possibly enhance recruitment of new employees
  • Enhance image with public, regulators, lenders, investors
  • Achieve/improve employee awareness of environmental issues and responsibilities
  • Qualify for recognition/incentive programs such as the EPA Performance Track Program.
EPA's Environmental Management Plan website provides an overview of how to develop an EMS and why organizations should develop and EMS.

Environmental Management Plan Strategy

Most EMS are built on the "Plan, Do, Check, Act" model. This model leads to continual improvement based upon:


Planning, including identifying environmental aspects and establishing goals


Implementing, including training and operational controls


Checking, including monitoring and corrective action


Reviewing, including progress reviews and acting to make needed changes to the EMS.

EPA Environmental Management Plan Resource Center

Edited by Carolyn Allen
| management | enviornmental management | epa |


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