Introduction:

This Environmental Management System (EMS) Implementation Checklist Template has been developed from the US Environmental Protection Agency's Environmental Management Systems: An Implementation Guide for Small and Medium-Sized Organizations.

We have pulled information from EPA's guide, to create this checklist that will guide you in the creation of an environmental management system plan. This plan acts as an aid for efficient development and implementation of your environmental management system. 

What is an environmental management system?

With an effective environmental management system, you are continually planning, implementing, reviewing and improving your business processes. The aim of EMS systems is to meet environmental laws and regulations and to improve your companies environmental performance. 

Why is an environmental management system important?

With an effective environmental management system, you can obtain:

  • Long-term sustainable profits
  • A marketing advantage
  • Reduce environmental incidents
  • Improve your reputation
  • Improve your regulative performance 
  • Reduce business costs 
  • Attract shareholders and investors 

Checklists are a great way to improve your productivity, efficiency and to prevent failure. In this instance, our checklist approach has broken down the creation of your environmental management system into achievable steps.

Process Street has created features aimed to increase the use-value of our checklists. This Environmental Management System Implementation Checklist Template uses the following features:

Record checklist details

In this Environmental Management System (EMS) Implementation Checklist Template, you will be presented with the following form fields, which you are required to populate with your specific data. More information is provided for each form field via linkage to our help pages:

To begin this Environmental Management System (EMS) Implementation Checklist Template, enter the required details into the form fields below.

This is a stop task, which means you cannot progress in this Environmental Management System (EMS) Implementation Checklist Template until the required form fields are complete.

The environmental management system will require top management review, approval, and commitment to develop and implement. Please enter the full name and email of the individual that can provide this.

Define your organization's goals for your environmental management system:

Define the goals of your environmental management system

The first step in the creation of your environmental management system is to decide why you are perusing the development of your system

You can use our long-text form field to define the goals of your environmental management system.

Reduce your carbon footprint, or reduce pollution are examples of typical goals set.

Create your action plan

Once you have defined your environmental management system's goals, you need to develop an action plan to identify tasks that will help you develop your EMS.

You can upload this action plan using our file upload form field below.

Alternatively, if you have developed your action plan using an online document, e.g. Google Documents, you can copy and paste the URL link for the document using our website form field

This is a stop task, which means you cannot proceed in this process until all the required tasks are complete. 

In your action plan, make sure you know how each task will help you achieve your goals. 

You are presented with our subtask form field, check off each task on its completion.

  • 1
    You understand how each task will enable you to achieve your goals

Define your project's scope

Once you have created an action plan for your environmental management system, you need to define the scope of this system.

When defining the scope of your environmental management system, think about the ''organization'' that your system will cover. Will your system cover one or more locations?

Consider piloting your system. You can define the location/s for where you would like to pilot your EMS. Define these locations using our long-text form field below. 

Secure top management commitment:

Define key information in regards to your environmental management system

Once you have defined your goals and developed an action plan for your environmental management system, the next stage would be to secure commitment from top management.

Commitment from top management is important for the development and implementation of your system.

To obtain this commitment, you must present your EMS goals and action plan. Before this presentation,  make sure you have achieved the following tasks below.

You are presented with your sub-task form field, check off each task on its completion.

  • 1
    Define the strengths of your environmental management system
  • 2
    Outline how you intend to implement your environmental management system

Present the limitation of your current approaches

When presenting your environmental management system to top management, make sure you consider the strengths and limitations of your current approaches

Check off the subtasks below on completion.

  • 1
    Define the strengths and limitations of your current approaches
  • 2
    Define how these limitations affect your organization's financial and environmental performances

Present your environmental management system action plan

You have defined the following information:

  • The strengths of your environmental management system 
  • How you intend to implement the environmental management system
  • The strengths and limitations of your current approaches
  • How these limitations affect your organization's financial and environmental performances

It is now time to present your environmental management system's action plan and goals, along with the above information, to top management.

Analyze the goals of the environmental management system against your organization's goals

This step is to be completed by top management.

You have been presented with the action plan for a new environmental management system. Your commitment is needed to develop and implement this system.

Firstly, you need to consider whether the goals of the environmental management system align with your organization goals.

Using our drop-down form field below, select 'yes' or 'no'  to be directed to the relevant stage in this template.

Edit the environmental management system as required

You have stated that your organization's goals do not align with the goals of the environmental management system. Please identify the goals below that are not in alignment

You can record the goals that are not in alignment using the long text form field presented below.

Goals defined for the environmental management system

{{form.Define_the_goals_of_your_environmental_management_system}}

Provide your feedback for the environmental management system action plan

Take the time to review the environmental management system's action plan presented to you. You can provide your feedback using the long text form field below.

Implement feedback

This task is to be completed by the relevant employee.

Having presented your environmental management system's action plan to top management, the next stage is to implement all feedback obtained

This is a stop task. You cannot move forward in this process until all feedback has been implemented.

Feedback

Feedback on environmental management system goals (if relevant)

Mis-aligned goals: {{form.Record_goals_that_are_not_in_alignment}}

Top management feedback on goals: {{form.Define_ways_these_goals_can_be_more_aligned}}

Feedback on environmental management system's action plan

{{form.Your_feedback_on_the_environmental_management_system}}

  • 1
    Implement feedback

Communicate your commitment

This task is to be completed by top management.

Your feedback has been implemented, and the environmental management system has been updated. 

Once you are happy with the environmental management system's plan, you need to ensure that your commitment is communicated across the organization.

This is a stop task, meaning you cannot continue in this process until this stage is complete.

  • 1
    Communicate your commitment across the organization

Select an environmental management system champion:

Select your champion

The next stage in the development of your environmental management system is to select a champion. Your choice of a champion is critical, and should have the following features:

  • 1
    Your champion should have the necessary authority
  • 2
    You champion should be a ''systems thinker''
  • 3
    You champion should have the time to commit to the environmental management system's building process
  • 4
    You champion must have top management support

As a ''systems thinker'' it would be beneficial for your champion to have experience in ISO 9000 or ISO 14001 - although this is not a necessity.

Have a look at Process Streets ISO-9000 Structure Template [HERE] or Process Streets ISO-14001 EMS Structure Template [HERE]

Build and implementation team:

Build your implementation team

To implement your environmental management system, you need a good team behind you. Outlined below are some useful features your implementation team should have. You can check off each task to confirm that you have that given feature.

  • 1
    Your team has representatives from key management functions (e.g. engineering, finance, human resources, production and/or service)
  • 2
    Your team can identify and assess issues, opportunities, and existing processes
  • 3
    Your team can meet regularly, especially in the early stages of the project
  • 4
    Your team is cross-functional, ensuring that your procedures are practical and effective
  • 5
    Your team can build a strong commitment to, and ''ownership'' of the environmental management system

You can upload a document detailing your chosen team, or you can copy and paste as URL link for online documentation detailing your team.

Hold kick-off meeting:

Schedule your kick-off meeting

Once you have selected your team, the next stage is to hold a kick-off meeting to discuss your organization's objectives in implementing the environmental management system.

Entering the time and date for your kick-off meeting will activate our dynamic due date feature. You will be notified one hour before the scheduled time of the meeting.

  • 1
    Communicate the date and time of the meeting to all team members.

Communicate the meeting's agenda

You need to make sure that you communicate enough information in this initial meeting. Create your meeting agenda to include the following

  • 1
    Communicate initial steps that need to be carried out, by the organization, for the implementation of your environmental management system
  • 2
    Define roles for each team member

You can use our file upload form field below to upload a copy of this agenda. Alternatively, you can enter the URL link for online documentation detailing your meeting's agenda.

If possible, get top management to communicate commitment towards your environmental management system during this meeting.

Check out Process Street's 'How to Run Business Meetings That Aren't a Useless Waste of Time' [HERE]

Hold meeting

Prepare for your kick-off meeting starting in one hour

Conduct a preliminary review:

Conduct a preliminary review within your team

The next step is for your team to conduct a preliminary review of your current compliance and other environmental programs/systems.

Check off the tasks below on completion.

  • 1
    Your team has conducted a preliminary review of your current compliance and other environmental programs/systems and compared these against criteria for your environmental management system
  • 2
    Your organization's structure, procedures, policies, environmental impacts, training programs, and other factors have been evaluated

Consider using Process Street's 5 free ISO 14001 checklists templates for your self-assessment, you can access these [HERE]

Consider incorporating Safer Choice as a gap analysis tool.

Prepare a budget and schedule:

Produce your project plan

You can use the results from your preliminary review to prepare an EMS project plan and budget.

You can upload this project plan using our file upload form field below. Alternatively, you can enter the URL link for online documentation of this plan.

Make sure to consult your budget when producing your EMS project plan

Review your project plan

Once you have created your EMS project plan, review the plan to ensure that it contains the following details: 

  • 1
    The plan should describe, in detail, what key actions are needed
  • 2
    The plan should describe, in detail, on who will be responsible for these actions
  • 3
    The plan should detail what resources are needed
  • 4
    The plan should detail when the work will be completed

Make sure to keep your plan flexible, but set stretch goals. Think about how you will maintain your projects focus and momentum over time.  For example, you can look for potential ''early successes''.

Secure resources, assistance:

Reach out for outside support

Your environmental management system has been reviewed, and should now be fully supported by top management. Consider reaching for outside support.

For example, in some cases, you could reach out for outside funding or other types of assistance. Consult Appendix F of the Environmental Management Systems: An Implementation Guide for Small and Medium Sized Organizations, thedocument presented below, for more ideas on possible sources of help.

Involve employees:

Obtain feedback from employees

You can enhance the ownership of your environmental management system by providing meaningful employee involvement in the development process. 

  • 1
    Gather feedback from employees in regards to your environmental management system to help your project team draft procedures

You can summarize key parts of your employees feedback using the long-text form field below

Employees are a great source of knowledge on environmental, health and safety issues related to their work areas, as well as the effectiveness of current processes and procedures.

Monitor and communicate progress:

Monitor your progress

As you build your environmental management system, you must monitor your progress throughout the process.

  • 1
    Monitor your progress against your environmental management systems goals
  • 2
    Monitor your goals against the environmental management systems project plan
  • 3
    Communicate this progress within the organization

Consider some final notes

As you develop your environmental management system, be sure to continually communicate your accomplishments and inform others of the subsequent steps in the process.

Build on small successes, and be sure to keep top management informed and engaged, specifically in regards to resources that may be required.

Sources:

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