Environmental Management Systems (EMS)

The Environmental Recognition Award Program is a step-by-step guide to what companies and individual plants can do to systemize their approach to managing their environmental footprint -- not only making them better neighbors, but also helping them to reduce production costs.

As AMI members work to minimize production costs, key targets are efficient use of energy and natural resources, minimizing product waste and overall regulatory environmental compliance. The program aims to help companies keep up with this complex and constantly changing task. This voluntary program provides a proven framework and technical guidance to make improvements and a recognition program to award accomplishments plants make.

What is an EMS?

The first step in managing your environmental footprint is the development of an Environmental Management System (EMS). An EMS is a hands-on, systematic approach plants can use to identify aspects of their operations that can be more efficient and perform better environmentally.

The Recognition Award program allows companies to begin implementation of an EMS by initiating a few basic steps, then expanding at a pace driven by their resources and priorities as they recognize the benefits of the program. The tailored EMS creates a site-specific plan that converts company policy and goals into results that are quantifiable. Through an effective EMS, a plant can identify alternative ways to do business that address the environmental impact and can reduce costs as well.

Why Have an EMS?

  • An EMS just makes good business sense. It's better to do things right the first time than to fix them after the fact. The EMS can augment the long-term viability of a plant, as energy costs, disposal costs and demands made by neighbors will continue to be issues that effect a plant's "bottom line." Companies that do address these costs will have a competitive advantage over companies that do not.
  • An EMS will boost your public image. An EMS can help establish an ongoing dialogue with your community, allowing you to demonstrate tangible ways that you are managing your environmental footprint while simultaneously affecting your bottom line. This plan will help you demonstrate that you are not only a responsible and responsive employer, but a good neighbor.
  • An EMS will deliver a return on investment. Although an EMS requires some initial investment, the plan will produce savings by reducing non-compliance costs, quantities of waste to be managed and disposed and help incur savings from energy and water conservation.

Tools For EMS Development

EPA's Voluntary Environmental Management Systems/ISO 14001