Farmers and other land managers around the world appreciate the need to minimise environmental impact and respond to concerns from consumers and the community regarding environmental stewardship and sustainability. In some cases, Environmental Management Systems (EMS) have been adopted by land managers to meet their own business management needs by stream-lining processes, saving resources and input costs, and obtaining marketing advantages over competitors. The international EMS standard, ISO 14001, has been employed by land managers in Australia, New Zealand, the US and Europe. Many farmers also use such systems to „showcase‟ their good environmental works and effectively communicate their “sustainability story”.
An Environmental Management System (EMS) is a framework that helps an organization achieve its environmental goals through consistent review, evaluation, and improvement of its environmental performance. The assumption is that this consistent review and evaluation will identify opportunities for improving and implementing the environmental performance of the organization. The EMS itself does not dictate a level of environmental performance that must be achieved; each organization's EMS is tailored to its own individual objectives and targets.
Reviewing the organization's environmental goals; Analyzing its environmental impacts and legal requirements (or compliance obligations); Setting environmental objectives and targets to reduce environmental impacts and comply with legal requirements (or compliance obligations); Establishing programs to meet these objectives and targets; Monitoring and measuring progress in achieving the objectives; Ensuring employees' environmental awareness and competence; and, Reviewing progress of the EMS and making improvements.
Improved environmental performance Enhanced compliance Pollution prevention Resource conservation New customers/markets Increased efficiency/reduced costs Enhanced employee morale Enhanced image with public, regulators, lenders, investors Employee awareness of environmental issues and responsibilities