Environmental Management System - Policies - University of Derby

Environmental Management System

Find about how we manage our environment at the University

In order for the University to attain an ISO14001:2015 accreditation, the University uses a computer based Environmental Management System (EMS), which is accessible from any computer. 

What is an Environmental Management System (EMS)?

An EMS refers to the management of an organisation's environmental programme in a comprehensive, systematic, planned and documented manner. It includes the organisational structure, planning and resources for developing, implementing and maintaining policy and procedures for environmental protection.

 Advantages of an EMS:

  • Helps achieve real cost savings - direct efficiencies in energy, water, waste, purchasing and transport
  • Helps in the management of environmental risk and ensuring our legal compliance
  • A valuable engagement process for staff and stakeholders
  • Demonstrate our commitment and responsibility to our clients, regulators and the public
  • Increasingly valuable as having an EMS accredited certification helps demonstrate your business’s compliance with supply chain requirements 

An EMS works as a document storing system where  all our legal environmental documentation is stored, procedures and any supporting documentation to demonstrate adherence to procedures. Employees who have access to the EMS system have the ability to create actions and tasks to help identify, improve any issues with our environmental management and also complete any actions which result from a internal and external audits. 

 We have our EMS documentation split into various sections:

1 Scope
2 Normative References
3 Terms and Definitions
4 Context of Organisation
5 Leadership
6 Planning
7 Support
8 Operation
9 Performance Evaluation
10 Continual Improvement
Within our Estate Management we have various areas covered such as, Waste, Research, Ethics, Emissions, Travel & Transport, Biodiversity, Water Management, Energy Management, Noise, Community, Fuel Usage, Grounds Maintenance, Sustainable Procurement, and Education for Sustainable Development.

What is ISO 14001:2015?

ISO 14001 is the international standard that specifies requirements for an EMS. It provides a framework that an organisation can follow, rather than requirements we should meet with our environmental performance. By following the guideline of ISO 14001:2015 we benefit from:

  • Demonstrating compliance with current and future statutory and regulatory requirements
  • Increase the involvement of higher level leadership in the University and employee engagement
  • Improving our Universities reputation and increases stakeholder and customer trust
  • Achieve our strategic objectives by incorporating environmental issues into management
  • Provide a financial advantage through improved resource efficiencies, reduced waste and reduced costs
  • Encourage better environmental performance of suppliers by integrating them into the Universities business systems
  • Provides an assurance that environmental impact is being measured at the University and improve our overall environmental impact
  • Increase stakeholder and customer trust

How do we achieve our accreditation?


  • By constantly reviewing and improving the way in which we manage our environmental responsibilities as a University and adhering to the policies and procedures we have set out.
  • We have BSi come in as an external auditor to review every aspect of our EMS at all our sites and if we meet their criteria we will be recommended for the ISO 14001:2015 accreditation.
  • If BSi find any issues they will raise them as non-conformities and give us time to address these issues before a second audit takes places to see how we have responded to these issues. If BSi deem our corrective actions as acceptable we can may be recommended for ISO 14001:2015.
  • At the same time BSi will also identify areas that we could improve on to go above and beyond what may be required in an EMS, which we will aim to achieve where possible.
  • However, once we attain the accreditation, we don’t stop there, we continue to review and improve how we operate and we conduct our own yearly internal audits to assess how we are doing


What is my role in the EMS?

Everyone has a part to play in the successful implementation of an EMS.


  • When required liaise with suppliers and contractors to ensure that they meet the institution's environmental requirements.
  • Provide the EMS Manager with appropriate operational control records.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the environmental policy
  • Report any environmental management issues to the Estates Management Department 
  • Provide services in line with the University of Derby's Environmental Policy
  • Report any environmental incidents or emergencies to the Estates Management Department 


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People and Planet Green League 2017 logo