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Development Account Projects

Improving participation and capacity-building in the implementation of certified environmental management systems in West Asia


An audited environmental management system is the part of an overall management system that addresses the immediate and long-term impact that the product, services and operations of companies can have on the environment. An environmental audit is defined as a management tool comprising a systematic, periodic and objective evaluation of how well environmental organization, management and equipment are performing with the aim of helping to safeguard the environment by: (a) facilitating management and control of environmental practices; and (b) assessing compliance with company policies, which include meeting regulatory requirements.

Environmental management systems are used by organizations to help them to systematically approach environmental issues and to integrate environmental care as a normal part of their operations and business strategy. An environmental management system is essential to an organization’s ability to anticipate and meet growing environmental performance expectations. An environmental management system is most successful when the top management of an organization rates environmental management among its highest priorities.


  • To promote the environmental benefits of implementing an environmental management system in the member States of West Asia
  • To build the necessary human capacity to implement an environmental management system for collaborating companies

Expected accomplishments:

Better understanding of the role of environmental management systems and the promotion of an open relationship between the regulator and the regulate

Increased awareness throughout the region of the benefits of environmental management and, for those organizations/companies that make a commitment, accreditation to an internationally recognized environmental management system

Effects and Impact:

The project has raised awareness at the executive level within companies throughout the region of the benefits of environmental management systems (EMS) and promoted voluntary initiatives including self-monitoring and self-auditing, product stewardship, Cleaner Production, Responsible Care and Global Compact concepts. Many companies are now implementing EMS and working towards external certification of their systems, as demonstrated through the questionnaire survey circulated in 2004. The project facilitated a better understanding of the role of EMS in ensuring regulatory compliance by the regulators and built capacity within the region for the development and implementation of EMS. The project encouraged a more open relationship between the regulator and the regulated through the common understanding and discussion of the requirements of an EMS.