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School of the Earth, Ocean and Environment

Environmental Management Systems Program

Overview and Services

Through the implementation of an Environmental Management System (EMS), managers can better assess the effect of the  organization’s environmental impacts on operational performance, the natural environment, and society.   Using EMS models, based on the Plan-Do-Check-Act for continual improvement in environmental performance, EMS Program students and faculty work with managers to develop an integrated management systems approach to optimize the efficient use of the organization's resources in meeting performance goals.  

Courses and workshops on EMS implementation, integration, and auditing provide the first step in establishing an organizational framework for a sustainable development. EMS integration with other management system standards such as ISO 9001 (Quality), ISO 50001 (Energy), or ISO 26000 (Social Responsibility) are evaluated to determine integration effectiveness.  

ISO 14001:2015 EMS assists managers in better understanding their organization's internal and external context in order to establish plans to strengthen the organization's management systems' foundation.  To ensure that managers make the best decisions for their organization, the USC EMS Program director works with the organization's management team to develop an EMS Implementation Plan that includes:

  • A GAP Analysis comparing the organization's environmental management program and ISO 14001:2015 EMS.
  • A GAP Action Plan, including; timetable, costs, resources needed and a schedule for each area to be addressed. 
  • Strength-Weakness-Opportunities-Threats (SWOT) Analysis.
  • Identification and use of management system guidance standards, e.g., ISO 31000, ISO 14044. 
  • EMS Team meetings and training for relevant internal and external stakeholders.  
  • Additional managerial or technical assistance needed throughout the implementation process.

The EMS Program director has assisted organizations in Environmental Management Systems planning and implementation since 1993.  He established the USC EMS Program in 1996 to work with managers from various types of organizations in implementing a management systems approach to better meet the organization's environmental, social and economic goals.  Through working with USC faculty and students, and establishing partnerships with industry experts, the USC EMS Program has assisted a variety of organizations in the implementation of an EMS.  See USC EMS Project Descriptions for a list of organizations and the specific EMS expertise our EMS teams have provided.

EMS Program Director
Telephone: 803-777-1373
Environmental Management and Sustainable Development Links: 
For additional information about the use of the management systems approach to Sustainable Development please see the International Sustainability Management Education (ISME) network webpage.

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