Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

Implement an environmental management system (EMS)

Implement an environmental management system

You may wish to implement an Environmental management system (EMS). An EMS encourages a systematic approach to help you to identify your business' impact on the environment and then manage your activities to reduce your impact, for example by reducing the energy or water you use or the waste you produce.

An EMS is something you can develop to suit your own needs, there are many businesses with their own bespoke EMS. What is important is that it is appropriate, and works for your business.


You can go a stage further and go for an EMS that is accredited to an agreed standard. There are a number of schemes available; many are specifically designed for smaller businesses that don’t have the time to do everything necessary at once. You can follow the guidance to develop an externally accredited EMS, for example by joining the Green Tourism Scheme:

Green Tourism

There are several schemes that follow the British Standard BS3555 and break the process down into small sections. Over time, this can build into a fully accredited EMS.

GBP: Green Ticks scheme

TIS: The Seren Scheme

The Acorn scheme from IEMA is currently unavailable.

For more information about how an EMS can help your business, read the NetRegs case studies at:

NetRegs: Case studies and videos

For information on how to start the process:

NetRegs: Environmental Management Systems

WRAPNI: Your guide to Environmental Management Systems

In Scotland you can work through CPD accredited Green Champions Training on the Zero Waste Scotland website:

ZWS: Green Champions Training

In this Guideline

Produce a policy statement

Ensure legal compliance

Implement an environmental management system (EMS)

Manage your purchases to minimise your environmental impact

Prepare for the circular economy

Communicate with your staff

Report on your environmental perfomance

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