What is environmental management?
Environmental management designates the organisation and management methods used to consistently take into account the impact of a company’s activities on the environment, to assess that impact and to reduce it.
An environmental management approach can be implemented to different degrees, and result in the creation of an Environmental Management System (EMS).
Environmental management tools
There are many activities linked to the company that have a potential impact on the environment: energy consumption, water use, waste production, transport of people or goods, choice of subcontractors with varying degrees of awareness, etc.
Various tools are available to raise awareness and structure the implementation of consistent management. Some of these are detailed below.
1. The Ecodynamic enterprise label in brussels
Initiated by Environment Brussels, the Ecodynamic Enterprise Label is intended to encourage organisations in Brussels to commit to an eco-management approach by providing official certification and support to companies that want to implement sustainable management at their sites.
The process to obtain the label is completely free. It is intended for all Brussels-based public and private sector companies, non-profits and institutions.
Application for the label requires the mandatory implementation of a certain number of basic best practices. Other best practices implemented by the company will help push up its level. There are three label levels: one, two and three stars.
The best practices are based on major environmental themes : water, energy, mobility, soil, purchasing, noise, waste and green spaces.
The file must be submitted within 18 months of its opening. The label does not have an expiration date but can be renewed if the company wants to certify other best practices or raise its level.
Find all the information you need about the label and open your file here: www.ecodyn.brussels
The EcoToolKit is a platform offering environmental management tools to understand the environmental situation of one's organisation and the main impacts of its management. The tool also allows you to manage and reduce your environmental impacts and improve your environmental performance.
It is recommended to use the EcoToolKit tools in stages (EcoMapping - EcoScan - EcoTips).
- Ecomapping is a creative tool to help small businesses implement an environmental management system (EMS), such as ISO 14001 or EMAS. The aim of Ecomapping is to provide small businesses and organisations with a simple, visual and free tool to analyse and manage their environmental behaviour. The aim is to produce a map of an organisation's site (e.g. a workshop, an office, a leisure centre, etc.) that will allow the current environmental situation to be understood.
- The EcoScan allows you to calculate your ecological and carbon footprint online for eight economic sectors: accommodation, bars and restaurants, offices, hair and beauty salons, vehicle maintenance and repair, events and retail. This module gives a good estimate of the environmental impact of activities over a given period.
- Ecotips provides advice on specific actions to be taken in relation to environmental impacts that have been identified using Ecomapping and Ecoscan. The Ecotips module also provides information regarding legislation and potential savings that may arise after specific actions have been taken.
3. The ISO 14001 standard
ISO 14001 (Environmental management systems – Requirements with guidance for use) indicates what a solid environmental management system entails. The objective:
- to improve your environmental performance;
- to better communicate about your environmental efforts to relevant stakeholders;
- to support your organisation in complying with existing rules and laws;
- to protect the environment by reducing or countering negative effects.
The standard offers a useful framework for organisations from every sector, big or small: micro business, SMEs, large companies and multinationals, governments, research institutions, universities, NGOs, et cetera.
Certification for ISO 14001 is – as is the decision to implement the standard – voluntary.
The European Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) is an EU environmental management and audit scheme for companies and other organisations. EMAS allows you to evaluate, improve and report on your organisation's environmental policy.
The environmental management system requirements listed in the EMAS regulation are identical to those of ISO 14001. To comply with ISO 14001, your environmental management system must meet a number of conditions. You must :
- monitor and identify the environmental impact of your activities, products and services
- continuously improve your environmental management
- implement a systematic approach to setting environmental objectives, achieving them and making them public once achieved
In addition, EMAS places particular emphasis on compliance with legislation, improving environmental performance, communication with the outside world and employee involvement.
In the Brussels-Capital Region, the competent body to submit an application for EMAS registration is Brussels Environment (I.B.G.E.)