International Network for Environmental Management (INEM)

This platform is the entry point to the knowledge and offerings of our worldwide network of entrepreneurial sustainability. It gives you access to best practices of environmental management in industries as well as small and medium sized companies. You will find tools for the implementation of ISO and EMAS standards, an international events calendar and more than 6.000 publications on energy, waste and water topics. The International Network for Environmental Management e.V. (INEM), founded in 1991, is the world federation of non-profit national business associations for environmental management with about 30 member associations and cleaner production centres in 25 countries.

Company details

Osterstrasse 58 , Hamburg , 20259 Germany

Locations Served

Business Type:
Professional association
Industry Type:
Environmental - Environmental Management
Market Focus:
Globally (various continents)
Year Founded:

The International Network for Environmental Management e.V. (INEM), founded in 1991, is the world federation of non-profit national business associations for environmental management with about 30 member associations and cleaner production centres in 25 countries.

The purpose of this non-for-profit association is the promotion of
  • the protection of the environment, especially of the water, the soil and the air, as well as the protection of animals and plants from ecological damage;
  • the protection of human health;
  • science and scientific research, especially in the field of environmental protection.

are to increase the number of environmentally managed companies; assist in particular small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in implementing environmental management; improve the quality of environmental management; and transfer environmental management know-how from business and industry to other sectors of society. In addition, INEM strives to help develop a macro-economic framework that favours environmentally managed companies.

INEM supports the establishment of member associations all over the world. Alongside international associations of enterprises, more and more international enterprises and institutions are joining INEM as affiliated members. Also regional networks of municipalities and enterprises are members and, through INEM, stay in contact with comparable institutions all over Europe and overseas.
We are going to intensify the exchange of experience and knowledge amongst the members by using the most modern communication techniques. Already today, the INEM website offers access to a wide range of tools and background information. It is going to be extended to an international marketplace for environmental knowledge and sustainable business management in terms of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Furthermore, INEM is going to enforce the alliance between its member associations, institutions and member enterprises. At this stage, INEM is an inexhaustible source of partnerships - in the field of management as well as technology.

On March 1st 2005 an international project office in Brussels has opened. This office is managed by Heinz Werner Engel and Eco-Counselling Enterprise scrl. By this INEM could further intensify the close collaboration with the European Commission and further international institutions.

and disseminates environmental management through the establishment of national business associations world-wide and organises international cooperation among the member associations. INEM carries out projects, conferences, workshops and train-the-trainer seminars and develops and disseminates implementation aids for the praxis (e.g. Blueprint for Green Management, Eco-mapping, EMAS Tool Kit for SMEs, The INEM Sustainability Reporting Guide). A comprehensive website makes much of INEM's knowledge and experience available to the world business community.

the oldest and largest association of its kind world-wide. Organisations in Austria, Brazil, Belarus, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Jordan, Latvia, Lithuania, Malaysia, Poland, the Russian Federation, the Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tanzania, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom are members of INEM.

As an environmental and development organisation with business expertise, INEM favours large industries as well as SMEs and solutions that preserve the local identity in partner countries.

 INEM is accredited to the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) and United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC) and holds consultative status with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and the Baltic Marine Environmental Protection Commission (HELCOM). INEM is also a Liaison member of the ISO Technical Committee on Environmental Management (ISO/TC 207), which is developing international standards for environmental management systems, environment auditing, eco-labelling, life cycle analysis, and environmental performance evaluation.

Georg Winter, businessman from Hamburg, at the second World Industry Conference on Environmental Management in April 1991 in Rotterdam initialised the foundation of INEM. From 1991 till early 2005 Dr. Winter was the Chairman of the board of INEM. In 1995 he was honoured for his commitment by the German Environmental Award of the German Federal Foundation for the Environment (DBU). Today Dr. Winter is a honorary member of INEM.

In June 1992 INEM organised the first International Industry Conference for Sustainable Development (IICSD) as part of the 1992 Global Forum of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro.

Subsequently each year, one conference organised by INEM member associations or the Main Secretariat was designated as the IICSD. The 1993 IICSD, International Conference on Eco-Management, was held in Tokyo, Japan. The third IICSD, the 2nd Southern African International Conference on Environmental Management (SAICEM II), was held in Harare, Zimbabwe in 1994, and the 1995 IICSD, the 1st ECO-BALTIC Conference, was held in Lübeck Germany. The second ECO-BALTIC Conference was held in Gdansk, Poland in October 1997.

Since the Earth Summit INEM has developed a set of programmes under the rubric of INDUSTRY 21 to implement Chapter 30, Strengthening the Role of Business and Industry and other business portions of the United Nations' Agenda 21.

1. Identity

  • The International Network for Environmental Management (INEM) protects the environment by promoting sustainable development and environmental management world-wide.
  • INEM is a registered non-governmental, non-profit, international organisation (NGO).

2. We Believe 

  • Biodiversity and cultural diversity should be conserved, and the dignity of life should be respected.
  • The earth's resources are limited, and business and industry can and must play a decisive role in conserving them and in protecting our natural environment.
  • Environmental management enables companies to improve both their environmental and economic performance.
  • Environmental management should be embedded in every company's business ethics and its corporate goals. Companies should become good corporate citizens by implementing measures that are environmentally sound, economically viable and socially responsible.
  • Providing assistance for self-help is the most effective means of support.
  • Larger companies and organisations should help smaller ones.

3. Members

  • INEM is a world-wide membership federation. Its main actors are national business associations for environmental management, whose members are mainly companies.
  • INEM also welcomes organisations supporting the protection of the environment and persons with outstanding environmental achievements to join the network as 'affiliated' or 'honorary' members.

4. Goals

  • Help strengthen existing and establish new national associations and thus increase the number of environmentally oriented companies world-wide.
  • Assist in particular small and medium-sized enterprises in implementing environmental management.
  • Improve the quality of environmental management.
  • Transfer environmental management know-how from business and industry to other sectors of society.
  • Help develop a macro-economic framework that favours environmentally managed companies. 

5. Activities

  • Supports and promotes networking among its members.
  • Acts as a clearinghouse for methods and instruments of environmental management, environmental best practice,
    training and environmental business opportunities.
  • Organises and co-ordinates conferences, seminars, experience exchanges, training and know-how transfer.
  • Publishes case studies, guidelines, tools, manuals, reports, a newsletter, conference proceedings and articles. INEM also facilitates translations of such publications.
  • Participates in international decision-making processes.
  • Provides management and marketing services.

6. Funding

  • INEM is funded through membership fees, grants, sponsorships, donations and projects.
  • INEM uses transparent accounting methods and is accountable to its Board of Trustees and members.