An Environmental Management System (EMS) is similar to other management systems, such as those that manage quality or safety. It assesses your business’ strengths and weaknesses, helps you identify and manage significant environmental impacts, saves you money by increasing efficiency, ensures you comply with environmental legislation.
An EMS is a requirement of all sites operating under and Environmental Permit and is required before a permit can be issued.
What does an EMS Cover?
An Environmental Management System may be an externally verified system such as ISO14001 or EMAS, but this is not a requirement of the the guidance and operators can produce their own EMS.
All EMS need to meet the guidance and in particular will need to consider;
- buildings, and other main constructions,
- treatment plants,
- storage tanks,
- security fences,
- storage facilities for hazardous materials, chemical stores,
- location of items for use in accidents and emergencies,
- drainage and effluent discharge points,
- land that you believe is contaminated, for example areas of your site that have previously been used for industrial purposes,
amongst a range of other issues.
What is the process?
You need to carry out a site survey to produce site layout drawings which detail all of the areas mentioned in the guidance.
You will also need to consider how your operations may impact on the environment or on neighbours and what you may need to do to mitigate any potantial impacts.
A failure to comply with the EMS is a breach of the permit, so it is important to that the EMS reflects practice on site whilst still meeting the guidance. An EMS that describes an ideal situation that does not reflect site operations is not desirable.
At AC Environmental we have many years experience in the production of Environmental Management Systems and can assist companies in the production and approval process. Call us for more information on 01782 30844.