Survey finds EMS deliver financial benefits

Cost savings and improved management control are by far the main benefits of implementing an Environmental Management System (EMS), according to survey conducted by the Edinburgh-based Institute of Environmental Management (IEM).

According to the responses of 204 of its members, 95% of companies considering or implementing an EMS put cost savings and improved management control at the top of their ‘wish list’ of benefits and an equal number found they materialised.

Companies were less prepared for the motivational effects of the certification process, especially since staff resistance and poor communication was cited as being the biggest obstacle to implementing an EMS. Only a third of companies implementing an EMS expected it would bring staff together, but nearly double that number found it improved ‘buy-in’ across all levels of the company.

Equally surprising was the fact that EMSs did not produce the environmental performance benefits many thought they would. Only 29% said their EMS had resulted in fewer accidents and reduced environmental impact, while 95% thought it would.

EMS certification did, however, have the desired effect of demonstrating corporate commitment to the environment and in meeting customer demands.

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