Age of the Pacific: Environmental Management Systems

Recently the Master of International Management cohort attended an Age of the Pacific lecture featuring Dr. Hg Chong from GMP Worldwide. At the close of Dr. Chong’s lecture, he posed a question to our group. Read on for my thoughts on the topic as an overview of this event.

How can Environmental Management Systems (EMS) be promoted and implemented by world organizations?

After attending Dr. Chong’s lecture, I think that world organizations would best be able to promote and implement aspects of EMS if they were able to agree on consistent format of use, specifically in regards to the Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle. Simple integration of this process for work that is already being done may benefit an organization internally, but would also reinforce the basis of EMS. Additionally, by increasing transparency and outward facing communications about how this cycle is being used to achieve goals will confirm its validity in the public eye.

Regarding the United States, the EPA publicly supports EMS on their website, but literature does not seem to be readily available for the public barring a targeted web search. Creating a presence for the EMS process on the front of their website, and discussing the importance of EMS with visitors may help increase public awareness of the system.  For example, creating marketing materials about the Plan-Do-Act-Check cycle provides an easy to convey, and easy to remember concept that can be shared broadly, and used to further introduce the topic of EMS.

Further, the EPA may choose to support ISO 14001 in such a way that creates tangible incentives for American business owners to implement EMS practices. While having a certification from the ISO may be inaccessible for some, given costs or difficulty in achieving strict guidelines, a small step towards better compliance would be to provide tips and updates on small improvements that many businesses can make. Once business owners feel a sense of accomplishment after achieving smaller steps, they may be encouraged to go further in the process of EMS, or at the very least they will already be better off than initially.


Ryan is a part of the Master of International Management full-time 2012 cohort, and a MIM Student Ambassador. Currently he works within the Willamette Valley wine industry as a social media consultant, and wants to broaden his career in marketing to a global level through the MIM program. His favorite aspects of MIM are networking with other students from around the world and learning Mandarin Chinese. Ryan is passionate about food, wine, and travel and writes on these topics for other sites. Visit Ryan’s site here.

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