To help companies manage their environmental impacts, environmental management systems (EMS) have been developed. Most Environmental Management Systems (EMS) are structured in a similar way:
known management systems are the official environmental management systems ISO 14001 and EMAS.
is an international environmental management system developed by ISO
(International Organization for Standardization). The prefix 14 indicates that it is
an environmental management system, the number 001 indicates that it is a general
management system. There are other environmental management systems that are developed by ISO (prefix
14.) that focus on other environmental issues. They
carry other numbers than 001. ISO 14001 only implicitly focuses on
Beside the ISO 14000 series, ISO has also published a guidance document for corporate social responsibility, called ISO 26000 which can be used by companies and other organisations alike. Socially responsible companies (CSR) not only pay attention to the economic side of their business but also to the society (employees, neighbouring communities etc.) and the environment. The guidance document explicitly mentions the protection of biodiversity and ecosystem services as a possibility to become more socially responsible. The guidance document describes six other core subjects of CSR next to the environment but contains no requirements. It can therefore not be used as a certification.
Management and Audit Scheme) is a European EMS that can only be used by
organisations (public and private) in EU countries. For an organisation to become
EMAS certified, it has to meet more requirements compared to becoming ISO
14001 certified. Organisations that are EMAS certified have to determine
significant environmental aspects. This means they have to review all their
environmental impacts and prioritise them. EMAS also lays greater value on
public dialogue and involvement of employees. Finally, it requires an
organisation to publish an environmental statement. The
certification scheme targets biodiversity, in the form of land
In the past there were barely any instructions and
experiences on how businesses could integrate biodiversity into their
environmental management. Therefore the Lake Constance Foundation, Global Nature Fund
(GNF) and the German Association for Sustainable
Environmental Management (VNU) published
"Biodiversity Fact Sheets" for the different
sectors of food production and distribution, beverage companies,
cosmetics, extractive industries, tourism, golf courses and amusement parks.
In addition to management systems, there are methods and tools for implementing biodiversity in the management. For an overview of tools and methods, click here.