Legal Lookout: The Importance of Environmental Management Systems

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Courtesy of Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.

Untitled Document

Environmental Management Systems (EMSs) are more important today than ever before. The legal implications that arise from not having an EMS are more compelling, and thanks to Sarbanes-Oxley and the growing influence of corporate social responsibility, the results of managing environmental issues are critically important.

EMSs: What are they?

EMSs are structured approaches to the management of environmental issues, and provide the foundation for ensuring compliance and benchmarking performance. The EPA defines EMSs as “a continual cycle of planning, implementing, reviewing and improving the processes and actions that an organization undertakes to meet its business and environmental goals.”

The agency maintains a website at www.epa.gov/ems/index.htm where background on its EMS initiative can be found, as well as various useful guidance documents, policy documents, FAQs and related information. Summaries of the advantages of EMS development and implementation are included.

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