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In this EMS model, the "Plan, Do, Check, Act" steps have been expanded into 17 elements that are linked together. These 17 elements are the basis of most EMS standards, including ISO 14001, the EMS standard created by the International Organization for Standardization.
Key Elements of an EMS: A Snapshot Environmental policy - Develop a statement of your organization's commitment to the environment. Use this policy as a framework for planning and action. The policy is a direct reflection of the fundamental values of the organization.
Environmental aspects - Identify environmental attributes of your products, activities and services. Determine those that could have significant impacts on the environment.
Legal and other requirements - Identify and ensure access to relevant laws and regulations, as well as other requirements to which your organization adheres.
Objectives and targets - Establish environmental goals for your organization, in line with your policy, environmental impacts, the views of interested parties and other factors.
Environmental management program - Plan actions necessary to achieve your objectives and targets.
Structure and responsibility - Establish roles and responsibilities for environmental management and provide appropriate resources.
Training, awareness and competence - Ensure that your organization's employees are trained and capable of carrying out their environmental responsibilities.
Communication - Establish processes for internal and external communications on environmental management issues.
EMS documentation - Maintain information on your organization's EMS and related documents.
Document control - Ensure effective management of procedures and other system documents.
Operational control - Identify, plan and manage your organization's operations and activities in line with your organization's policy, objectives and targets.
Emergency preparedness and response - Identify potential emergencies and develop procedures for preventing and responding to them.
Monitoring and measurement - Monitor key activities and track performance. Conduct periodic assessments of compliance with legal requirements.
Nonconformance and corrective and preventive action - Identify and correct problems and prevent their recurrence.
Records - Maintain and manage records of EMS performance.
EMS audit - Periodically verify that your organization's EMS is operating as intended.
Management review - Periodically review your organization's EMS with an eye to continual improvement.