What is an Environmental Manual?
An environmental manual is a document (or online file) that states your organisation's goals for carrying out the processes within the environmental management system (EMS).
The manual can include:
- Scope of the organisation
- Procedures (for monitoring, and communication)
- Lines of responsibility
When creating an EMS manual, keep in mind that the aim of this is to provide value to your organisation.
Your employees and stakeholders should be able to read the manual and have a clear understanding of anything environmentally related to the company. This means you should not add anything just for the sake of it. The manual can be any length that keeps the information relevant and of use.
An environmental manual can outline the different elements of ISO 14001, and how the organisation aims to respond to these.
How do you develop an Environmental Management System?
- Define your organisations goals for the EMS (why do you want an EMS)
- Secure Top Management commitment (ensure they see the benefits)
- Select an EMS Champion (someone to oversee this project)
- Build an Implementation Team (Representatives from Management and other relevant departments)
- Hold a starter meeting (discuss objectives)
- Conduct a preliminary review (review of existing systems – gap analysis)
- Prepare budget and schedule (Key actions required, responsibilities going forward, time frame)
- Secure resources (technical if necessary)
- Involve employees (input with drafting procedures)
- Monitor and communicate progress (monitor against original goals – let staff know about successes)