Voluntary environmental management initiatives

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Voluntary environmental management initiatives - VEMI are not the same as those environmental management systems - EMS that companies or facilities establish with the objective of obtaining a certification like ISO 14000. Hence the criteria we use to evaluate the former should necessarily be somewhat different from those we use for the latter…

Introduction

This defines the basic approach the company takes in implementing the system. If the focus is on compliance, then the benefits that the company will expect are reduction in their liabilities. (A Strategic Approach to ISO 14001)
This is an EMS and the company is likely to consider it a cost. On the other hand, if the company's objective is to improve their products, design and processes, with the attendant benefits of pollution reduction, but more importantly customer satisfaction, then it could be a VEMI and the company would consider this an investment. The company, in this case, will not be worried about the certification per se, but about the satisfaction of the stakeholders. This does not, of course, mean that the certification is not necessary or is useless, but the company in question is pursuing real results in terms of pollution reduction and improvement in the processes and products, leading to customer and stakeholder satisfaction. (A Strategic Approach to ISO 14001)
To answer the question - 'Why are VEMI's important' - The first thing that we need to understand is that it is more realistic than an ISO 14000-oriented EMS. To elaborate, there can be no uniformity in the framework to be used to implement EMS systems - this will differ from company to company, industry to industry. ...
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