Environmental Management System

Friday December 16, 2011

What is it?

An Environmental Management System (EMS) is the part of an installation's overall management system that integrates environmental concerns and issues in the installation's management processes. An EMS addresses organizational structure, planning activities, responsibilities, practices, procedures, processes, and resources for developing, implementing, achieving, reviewing, and maintaining environmental requirements.

An EMS enables an installation of any size or type to control the impact of its activities, products, or services on the natural environment, allowing it to not only achieve and maintain compliance with current environmental requirements, but to recognize and proactively manage future issues that might impact mission sustainability. Army installation EMSs are designed to conform to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standard 14001 for environmental management systems. Currently, 142 Army installations designated as being an "appropriate facility" are required to implement an ISO 14001-compliant EMS.

What has the Army done?

In 2004, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army ( Environment, Safety, and Occupational Health) signed an action memorandum on EMS that:
Formalized Army adoption of the ISO 14001standard as a goal
Required all appropriate facilities to have an EMS in place NLT 31 December 2005, and
Mandated full conformance with the ISO 14001 standard NLT FY09.
At the end of FY10, 138 Army installations had an ISO 14001-compliant EMS in place.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for EMS?

The Army will complete implementation efforts at the four remaining appropriate facilities, and will ensure that all appropriate facilities actively pursue continuous improvement of their EMS. In addition, the Army will continue to conduct formal management reviews of installation EMSs as a component of periodic Environmental Performance Assessment System (EPAS) audits. This will ensure that EMSs are working as designed, and in an efficient and cost-effective manner.

Why is this important to the Army?

EMS is a tool that is helping to ensure that our Soldiers have the land, water, and air resources that they need to train; a healthy environment in which to live; and the support of our local communities. Effective environmental management using EMS supports mission accomplishment and sustainability while integrating environmental goals and policy throughout the entire Army culture.

Resources:

Assistant Secretary of the Army (Installations, Energy & Environment)
Related STAND-TO!: Environmental Compliance Program
Documents:
U.S. Army Environmental Management System Implementer's Guide
U.S. Army Environmental Management System Commander's Guide

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