Source: Adapted from European Union, EMAS III Standard.
The implementation of an environmental management system (EMS) within a transportation or logistics service provider requires several steps:
- Environmental review. In this phase, the corporation reviews comprehensively the direct (what it can control) and indirect (what it does not control but can influence) environmental aspects of its operations. This can include the generation of air and water pollution as well as wastes resulting from its operations. The total material use in terms of resources, energy, and raw materials must be calculated since they are at the core of the environmental impacts.
- Environmental management system. The information gathered in the environmental review serves as input to articulate the environmental requirements to abide by environmental policy. With these objectives, the planning and implementation of such a policy can be formulated, and the environmental goals set. This is undertaken to abide by the guidelines established by environmental standards, such as EMAS or ISO 14001. An internal audit will be performed to validate the environmental review and the proposed EMS. At this point, the EMS has been endorsed by the corporation.
- Environmental statement. The corporation issues a comprehensive report underlining the environmental review and the proposed EMS to the certifying authority. Part of the environmental statement can also be issued to the public for promotional and relation purposes since it states goals and intended actions.
- Verification and validation. The certifying agency undertakes a review of the environmental statement, including site visits and specific queries. Its main goal is to ensure the environmental statement meets the certification standards.
- Registration. Compliance is officially recognized, and the corporation is issued a certificate, which is valid for all the authorities recognizing the certification (e.g. customs, environment). Based upon a pre-determined schedule, the corporation will be audited to ensure ongoing compliance and a potential review of its EMS.