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Environmental Management System

For Your Information

The term ‘Environmental Management System’ can be divided into three parts: environment, management, and system

  • The term ‘environment’ means the surrounding in which an organization functions, including air, water, soil, natural resources, flora, fauna, people, and their interrelationships. The environment can be described in such terms as biodiversity, ecosystems, climate, or other characteristics.

  • Management’, on the other hand (Latin: manus and agere), means to lead something by the hand. It also means to act in such a way that a goal can be achieved.

  • The term ‘system’ (old Greek sýstema) describes a whole composed of several individual parts (elements). These elements function together to achieve a specific goal (environmental protection in this context).

In other words: a functioning environmental management system requires the support of every single university member!

Implementation steps of an environmental management system

1. At the beginning, the environmental guidelines (so-called environmental policy) must be drawn up and published.

2. The environmental impact (this includes, for example, emissions and sources of noise) are then recorded and evaluated. This is done through on-site inspections.

3. The environmental impacts are made permanently measurable and comparable with specific data in an environmental indicator system.

4. Continuous improvement: in an environmental program, measures with measurable goals are stored, tracked, and regularly updated based on the environmental indicators and suggestions for improvement by university members.

5. Processes relevant to the environment (e.g. waste disposal) must be identified and described. This is dome in the form of procedural instructions in our OTH Process Portal.

6. Our previous organizational structure is expanded to include functions for the environmental management system that is to be newly established.

7. An environmental management manual with a description of the environmental management system and all important processes and functions is created during the project.

8. Towards the end of the system setup, an internal self-control (internal audit) is carried out to check the functionality. This will be carried out annually in the future.

9. Finally, the introduced environmental management system is audited by an external, accredited certification body and, if successful, certified with ISO 14001.

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