Product Innovations

Credible, usable, continual – Setting up an Environmental Management System that works for you

We are helping more and more companies throughout New Zealand and Australia as they negotiate both public demand and regulatory requirements for higher environmental standards. Meeting these standards and improving everyday efficiency often involves the formation of an Environmental Management System (EMS).

A good EMS should help reduce the environmental impact of your operation while maintaining efficiency and cutting waste. It will help your business set and then work towards environmental targets and, in doing so, ensure the operation achieves greater medium and long-term cost savings.

However, some companies see an EMS as a box-ticking exercise, while others see it as a valuable tool. They’re leaning into the work here and, as a result, are maximising opportunities today and future-proofing their operations for the changes of tomorrow.

For such businesses this means taking a closer look at packaging. Our R&D team is constantly assessing new packaging and processes that meet the changing needs of our clients. A strong, useable EMS can be of huge value when it comes to scoping improvements and tracking changes.

Here are a few quick tips for EMS enhancement:

1. Measure once. Measure twice.

Before you go about making changes, it’s important to know where you stand. It could be that your company’s environmental performance in some areas is already great, while in others it needs serious help. Analysing the current state of things is your first step, along with reviewing your company’s existing environmental goals and seeing how they measure up both in the present and for the future.

2. Think big (and small).

Once you have your data on hand look at where impact is being made here and now – and where further impact can be made in the future when recommended steps are followed. This involves an understanding of how both the legislative landscape and the natural environment are changing, and how effective your changes can be.

3. Set your goals.

To keep a clear picture of what you hope to achieve, look to create high level environmental objectives and targets within your EMS. This then gives you a starting point from which to establish practices and protocols to help achieve your goals. Many hands make light work. Keeping all employees aware of the wider picture here will help with compliance and ultimately make your targets easier to reach.

4. Get help from others.

Once you’ve got an effective plan, it’s important that data is regularly inputted. This doesn’t need to be a big job. In fact, it doesn’t even need to be done in-house. Good packaging and logistics companies should be able to supply clear records of what is being used. Not getting the data you need from suppliers? Then demand it. At Smart Pack we can provide this information to clients – and we’re always ready to discuss the requirements of your EMS and how we can help you meet the targets.

5. Assess, refine, evolve.

No EMS can live in a vacuum – it should be a malleable system built to react to a changing world. Through careful analysis and auditing, it should be possible not only to keep up with the standards but to surpass goals and targets. Doing so generally results in greater cost savings, waste minimisation, and community goodwill.

At Smart Pack we are committed to meeting ISO 14001 for Environmental Management through our own rigorous EMS. We see such a system as an essential asset for future focused businesses – and so we are dedicated to helping our clients to meet their commitments.