What is an EMS / Site Working Plan and why should my waste or recycling facility have one?
An EMS or as it is sometimes referred to “Operational Management Plan or Working Plan” is a system which, once in place, helps your permitted site to identify the environmental impacts resulting from its business activities. It also helps manage and reduce those impacts, so that the environmental performance of the organisation is improved.
An EMS should provide a methodical approach to planning, implementing and reviewing an organisation’s environmental management. The role of an organisation’s EMS is to identify and control the risks that the organisation’s activities pose to the environment and human health.
Why should my site have one and do we really need it?
If you hold a permit under the Environmental Permitting Regulations 2010 you are required to have an appropriate EMS in place. It must set out in detail, how all the activities that happen on your site will be managed in accordance with the permit. If your site has been operating for a significant period of time, you may have heard EMS’s being described as a site “Working Plan”.
In newer permits the permit condition or rule requiring an operator to have an EMS in place is typically condition 1.1.1. : “The operator shall manage and operate the activities in accordance with a written management system that identifies and minimises risks of pollution, including those arising from operations, maintenance, accidents, incidents, non-conformances and those drawn to the attention of the operator as a result of complaints”.
Does the Management System need to be certified?
No but it does need to satisfy the Environment Agency’s audit criteria and it needs to reflect with your Environmental Permit / Waste Management License. There are a number of external bodies which certificate or verify EMS schemes such as ISO14001, EMAS, BS8555 or the Green Dragon Environmental Standard. However for smaller sites, a less formal in house system may be more suited and we can help you to get it right!
Once Waste Training & Consultancy Ltd have implemented your appropriate management system it is up to you to ensure that all the procedures and working practices are been adhered to and all records and audits are recorded appropriately. We can arrange external audits for your management system using a standard auditing approach. This service can be offered 6 monthly, annually or as and when required.