An environmental review is a way of assessing your business' environmental performance and establishing priorities for action. It is a three-stage process:
- establishing the current environmental situation - see establishing the baseline for an environmental review
- setting targets for improvement - see setting environmental targets
- implementing an action plan - see acting on your environmental review
As a minimum, the review should cover what legal requirements apply to your business and whether these are being complied with. Your review should also cover areas of good practice such as using resources efficiently and how environmental performance is already managed in your business.
There are a number of other techniques you can use to gather information about your environmental performance - see life cycle assessment, environmental risk assessment and corporate ecosystem services assessment.
Environmental management systems (EMSs)
An EMS has the same three elements as an environmental review. However, it also has a number of other requirements including an environmental policy and comprehensive documentation. This is particularly the case if you are looking to achieve ISO 14001 certification or Eco-management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) verification - see environmental management systems (EMS) - the basics.