ISO 14000 and the Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) are Environmental Management Systems (EMS). ISO 14000 is a product of the International Standards Organization while EMAS is a product of the European Union (EU). ISO 14000 is an international standard while EMAS applies to the European Union. Both ISO14000 and EMAS are considered tools to achieving Cleaner Production. It is possible to implement Cleaner Production without applying for certification, but even in these circumstances most firms use one or the other standard as the model for their environmental management system.
The sections below give a brief outline of ISO 14000 and EMAS and provide links to sites with more detailed information, including ISO 14000 organizations in China.
The ISO defines ISO 14000 on its web site as "a series of international, voluntary environmental management standards." These standards "address the following aspects of environmental management:
More information on ISO 14000 including an elaboration and definition of the topics listed immediately above see the ISO web site at ( http://www.tc207.org/FAQ.asp )
and Audit Scheme (EMAS)
The overall objective of the EMAS is to promote continuous environmental performance improvement in industrial activities by committing industrial sites to evaluate and improve their environmental performance and provide relevant information to the public. The scheme is voluntary and based on common principles throughout the European Union. It is open to companies in the industrial sector operating in the European Union and the European Economic Area. The scheme does not replace existing European Community, national environmental legislation or remove a company's responsibility to fulfill all its legal obligations under environmental legislation or standards.
Registration in the scheme requires a company to adopt a company environmental policy containing the following key commitments:
At the site, an initial environmental review is undertaken. In the light of the review and the company's environmental policy and environmental programme and environmental management system is established for the site. Site environmental audits, covering all activities at the site concerned, must be conducted within an audit cycle of no longer than three years and, based on the audit findings, environmental objectives set and the environmental programme revised to achieve the set objectives. On completion of the initial environmental review and the set objectives. On completion of the initial environmental review and subsequent audits or audit cycles a public environmental statement is produced.
The scheme has been operational since 1995. Detailed information is available on the European Union website.
The ISO on its web site briefly examines the difference between the ISO 14000 and EMAS standards. (see http://www.tc207.org/FAQ.asp ). According to the web site the ISO 14000 standards are voluntary instruments which are intended for use in countries at all stages of economic development and under a range of government systems. EMAS is a regulation, developed to meet the specific needs of governments, citizens and consumers in European Union member countries. EMAS can take a more prescriptive approach while the ISO 14000 standards rely on voluntary acceptance of all parties. EMAS currently applies to manufacturing industries while ISO 14000 can apply to all types of organizations.