People engaged in environmental protection like me very often are not very pacient and not very friend of the "small step by step approach".
But during the years I learned, that people need to be "picked up from where they currently are" - especially if the task is to work on challanges related to climate change.
The Integrated Management System is not a tool for punctually problems - but a tool to work in a structured and efficient way on long term objectives. It is impossible to achieve sustainable development in one step and therefore the concept of IMS is based on a modular approach.
The "Plan-do-act-check" Management Cycle is known since decades and still valid. The environmental management systems EMAS and ISO 14001 are based on this cycle and IMS too.
Therefore, EMAS or ISO 14001 are good basis to extend them towards a sustainability management system: extention to the whole urban area, inclusion of all relevant stakeholders and inclusion of all aspects of sustainability.
Anyway, if we are discussing environmental aspects, allways social and economical implications are considered as well.
EMAS is motivating explicitly the certified administrations to develop the EMS further - even if only the environmental part of the management system will be certified by an auditor!
Apart from the scope related to content and some other wording such as Baseline Review instead of Environmental Report, there is one important difference between EMS and IMS. It is the request of political committment on highest level and in all relevant steps of the management process.
EMAS requests that the " head of unit" is responsible and needs to sign the Environmental Declaration. In case of IMS for local and regional authorities, the "Council" is the head of unit and highest responsible on political level. Therefore is is crucial to involve the Council in all steps of the management system and to request the political support in form of approval of all relevant decisions and findings within IMS.
Political committment starts with the council decision to implement the IMS, follows by approval of the Strategic Programme and includes the regognition of the monitoring results and the political willingness to take the necessary correction actions - even if they are not popular.
The CHAMP project team and the communities involved in the implementation of IMS want to motivate local and regional governments to start the integrated management approach - step by step and in a modular approach!
The Capacity Bulding Package and the increasing practical experience behind is ready to support you!
Best wishes, Marion Hammerl - Lake Constance Foundation
1 year ago