C2.10 Communication within an EMS


Communication is an essential part of any Environmental Management System (EMS).

It is a requirement within ISO 14001 that the Environmental Policy is communicated. This requirement aside, for any EMS to be effective, all employees must know what is required, how it affects them and what they must do. The most well written procedure is useless if no one knows it exists.

The success of an EMS rests on the participation of all employees. There is always however, a natural resistance to change. In order to combat this, it helps if employees understand why they are being asked to do certain things, such as the importance of reporting environmental incidents.

Within an Environmental Management System there are two main types of communication:

  • Internal
  • External


Internal Communication

Example of types of internal communication:

  • Receiving employee concerns, suggestions and comments.
  • Responding to employee concerns, suggestions and comments.
  • Communicating the Environmental Policy.
  • Communicating other EMS issues.
  • Environmental Inspection results.
  • Environmental Audit results.
  • Sharing of best practice throughout the organisation.
  • Management Review reports.


Example of methods of internal communication:

  • Team briefs.
  • Training.
  • Company or Organisation Intranet.
  • Notice boards.


External Communication

Example of types of external communication:

  • Providing stakeholders with statistical information, such as environmental KPIs.
  • EMAS Environmental Statements.
  • Providing the public with environmental information, such as carbon footprint information or green claims.
  • Receiving stakeholder concerns, suggestions and comments.
  • Responding to stakeholder concerns, suggestions and comments.
  • Receiving complaints.
  • Responding to complaints.


Example of methods of external communication:

  • EMAS Environmental Statements.
  • Environmental Reports.
  • Customer bulletins or newsletters.
  • Company or Organisation websites.