C2.12 Benefits of an EMS


There are a number of benefits to operating an Environmental Management System:

Regulatory Compliance:

An EMS should help an organisation to identify the legal requirements that affect its operations and to implement procedures to ensure that the requirements are met.

Effective Resource Use:

An EMS should help an organisation evaluate resource use, whether raw materials or energy, and to ensure that the resources are used more effectively.

Waste Reduction:

Through the effective use of resources, waste should be reduced.

Pollution Reduction:

Through managing the organisations environmental impacts, the organisation should reduce the pollution created. This should also reduce the environmental risk and may have added benefits such as reduced insurance premiums.

Competitive Edge:

Operating an EMS gives an organisation a competitive edge against those who do not. An EMS clearly demonstrates commitment to environmental performance. Whether the customer is another organisation or the public, green credentials create a positive corporate image. Some organisations will only conduct business with those that have an EMS.


A competitive edge may help the organisation grow, increasing sales and revenue, and therefore increasing profits. The effective use of resources will reduce costs. The costs of waste disposal increases year on year, reduced waste and improved waste management will reap significant cost savings. Not to mention the improved legislative compliance and therefore reduced risk of fines and prosecutions that will damage company reputation.


Staff may have higher motivation working for a company that they feel has good environmental credentials. Through the EMS elements of training and competence, organisations with an EMS may have better training opportunities for staff

Effective Management:

Although an EMS is a Management System for the Environment, it is still a Management System. Many of the elements within an EMS are transferable to all areas of an organisation. Documented procedures developed for an EMS can affect non-environmental issues. For example, if a company develops a complaints procedure as part of an EMS, that complaints procedure will improve customer service in all areas.

There are many similarities between ISO 14001 and ISO 9001. Many organisations operate an integrated system, which can lead to efficiency improvements in all areas. This has been heightened recently by the adoption of OHSAS 18001, leading to organisations encompassing environmental, safety and quality issues into one system. As integrated systems grow, they can encompass wider issues such as Human Resources and lead to an effective overall management system.