Environmental Management in Shelters
EMS Implementation and Certification
The growing concern about the impact of business activity on the natural environment has contributed to the development of different standards that guide organizations in the adoption of EMSs (Alberti et al., 2000; Trierweiller et al., 2013). Currently, the most widespread voluntary standards are: EMAS and ISO14001. Both have in common the need to implement a structured management system in a series of stages that defines organizational policies, procedures, and practices relating to environmental issues (Hillary, 2004).
Regulation 1836/93 on the Eco-Management and Audit Scheme of the European Union, or the EMAS Regulation, is an European standard aiming to provide guidance to companies interested in implementing an environmental management system and later obtaining certification recognized in Europe—and even beyond European borders—which demonstrates the company’s environmental commitment. Its aim, therefore, is twofold. On the one hand, the continuous improvement of companies’ environmental behaviur through the implementation of policies, programs, and EMSs in their operation centers and postassessment, and, on the other, the public demonstration of their environmental commitment (Dash and Junquera, 2001; Puvanasvaran et al., 2012; Sammalisto and Brorson, 2008). Figure 12.1 summarizes the implementation phases of an environmental management system according to the EMAS standard.
ISO14001 is an international standard that also offers guidance for the implementation and certification of EMSs and allows companies to publicly demonstrate their commitment to protecting the natural environment (Teng, 2011). It is based on three principles: pollution prevention, continuous improvement, and voluntary participation (Bansal and Hunter, 2003). It does not establish absolute
Figure 12.1 EMS implementation process based on EMAS.
Source: The authors.
Figure 12.2 EMS implementation process based on ISO14001.
Source: The authors.
requirements, or specific performance criteria, except for long-term commitment with applicable environmental legislation and pollution prevention through the establishment of goals and targets aimed at continuous improvement (Arimura et al., 2011; Puvanasvaran et al., 2012; Sammalisto and Brorson, 2008).
Sarkis (1998) explains that the process of implementing an environmental management system based on ISO 14001 consists of five stages: (1) Environmental policy: it refers to a written and public document with a statement of the company’s commitment to the environment; (2) Planning: companies should identify environmental aspects with significant impacts on the environment and deal with them as a priority; (3) Implementation and operations: this involves the allocation of human, financial, and physical resources needed to address environmental issues; (4) Checking and corrective action: this refers to the measurement of environmental performance, identifying deviations through the comparison of objectives and results, and implementation of appropriate corrective and preventive actions; (5) Management review: to ensure effective and continuous improvement of EMSs, managers must receive feedback from the policies, objectives, and procedures implemented (Figure 12.2).