Developing the co-operation between the established less formal Nordic approaches to eco-management and eco-certification systems

Part 1

Environmental management system (EMS) based on either the ISO14001 or EMAS standards require a lot of resources (both time and money). Small and medium enterprises (SME) often prefer less formal systems because of their down-to-earth approach and lower costs. Several successful less formal approaches to eco-management and eco-certification systems exist in the Nordic countries and may be good examples for future development in Europe. It would improve the competitiveness of the Nordic region. The report briefly reviews five established Nordic systems that meet the central requirements of the ISO14001 and EMAS standards, but are less bureaucratic, easier to understand and cheaper to implement. A new challenge arises for SME working in different countries because the less formal systems do not have international accept. A 4-steps methodology was developed to help the co-ordination between these less formal systems. It forms a basis for future cooperation and a practical guide for less formal EMS in more than one Nordic country.