Environmental Management Systems - PEER Center
Environmental Management System (EMS) is a set of problem
identification and problem solving tools that local governments can
use, organization-wide or in a specific department, to save money and
protect environmental resources by reducing waste, improving
efficiency, and integrating environmental stewardship into everyday
operations. An EMS provides a systems-based approach patterned after
the Shewart & Deming model of Plan-Do-Check-Act.
An EMS helps organizations address their regulatory demands in a
systematic and cost-effective manner. This proactive approach can
help reduce the risk of non-compliance or environmental liability and
improve health and safety practices for employees and the public.
from implementing an EMS can include improved ability to meet
compliance requirements; increased efficiency, reduced costs and
greater operational consistency; improved environmental awareness,
involvement and competency throughout the organization; better
communication about environmental issues inside and outside the
organization; and better relationships with regulators.
are most commonly modeled on the International Organization for
Standardization (ISO)'s 14001 standard. ISO 14001 is a set of
international, voluntary management practices that allow an
organization to analyze, control, and reduce its environmental impact
while increasing operating efficiency. Once an EMS is developed and
implemented, some local governments register for ISO 14001
Environmental Management Systems. The EPA's Web
site on EMS provides information and resources related to EMSs for
businesses, associations, the public, and state and federal agencies.
Users can read about developing an EMS, EPA's EMS policies, and
find publications and tools developed by EPA to assist with
The Public Entity EMS Resource Center (PEER Center) provides a broad array of information and tools to help public entities sustainably manage their organizations using a proven Plan-Do-Check-Act framework embodied in environmental management systems and similar approaches. The PEER Center is a collaboration between the EPA Office of Water at and the Global Environment & Technology Foundation (GETF). In addition, a number of organizations around the country called PEER EMS Local Resource Centers (e.g. PEER Centers) are reaching out to local governments to help them adopt EMSs and other sustainable management approaches.
Network for Environmental Management. This
Web site contains articles, case studies, and tools on environmental
management, as well as links to other EMS sites.
National Standards Institute. Explains the
ISO 14000, the voluntary standards upon which all EMS are based.
EMS Publications and Resources.EPA has developed a
number of guidance documents to assist an organization in development
and implementation of an EMS.
A Better Bottom Line for Local Government. This
fact sheet identifies the types of economic benefits that local
governments are experiencing with EMSs. Experience has proven that
investment in an EMS can mean money saved, reduced insurance
premiums, improved bond ratings, and greater regulatory flexibility,
as well as improved confidence on the management of environmental
Management Systems: A Guidebook for Improving Energy and
Environmental Performance in Local Government. This guidebook, produced by the Pennsylvania Department of
Environmental Protection (PADEP), helps local governments implement
and integrate improved management processes and practices to enable
them to reduce their environmental impacts and increase their
operating efficiency. The guidebook is a tool to help walk
municipalities through the EMS implementation process with a minimum
of outside support.
Case Studies in the Public Water Sector. This
report, prepared by the PEER Center, examines how EMS can assist
wastewater and drinking water facilities achieve environmental
excellence. It contains case studies of local utilities that have
implemented EMS to achieve important environmental results.
Implementation Guide. This document can
help organizations create and document their own integrated EMSs
(IEMSs) by providing information on the steps involved with
developing an IEMS. It provides simple, thorough directions that are
clear even to those unfamiliar with environmental management
Improvement in Utility Management: A Framework for Integration. This guide, produced by the by the Association of Metropolitan
Sewerage Agencies (AMSA) and the Water Environment Federation (WEF),
responds to a defined need within utility management by providing a
roadmap showing how a collective group of management initiatives
interrelate and how a utility can best approach integrating them in
the context of a continual improvement management system framework.
Management Tools for SMEs (Small and Medium Sized Enterprises): A
Handbook. A guidance document produced by
the European Environment Agency intended for small- and medium-sized
enterprises interested in implementing environmental management
Primer for Local Governments on Environmental Liability. The Local Government Environmental Assistance Network (LGEAN)
developed this primer to raise awareness about local government
environmental liability and providing information that can be used to
develop a system-wide response to environmental risks. The primer
contains information that forms the basis for a local governments
assessment of their environmental risks and the formation of a
program that prevents liabilities both now and into the future.