An Environmental Management System (EMS) is applicable to all kinds of petroleum operations, regardless of their size. It prescribes methods for developing procedures for protecting the environment that addresses not only the field activities but is inclusive of every conceivable activity, product or service that the petroleum industry encounters. It is a comprehensive environmental management system that can be integrated with other management activities of the industry. Its implementation may, however, be done in phases that suit the requirements and resource limitations of an organization.


EMS has been formalized as an international standard that is uniform across nations. As environment knows no boundaries, it is only appropriate that such a standard be reflective of that. This international standard has been developed jointly by participating countries of the world, including the USA, under the banner of International Organization for Standardization (ISO). ISO formed technical committees (TC 207) to develop international standards, the ISO 14000 series, in the field of environmental management tools and systems. Today most of the countries of the world are members of this technical committee and have formulated the ISO 14000 standard that has become truly an international environmental standard. (Please note that environmental management system and ISO 14000 will be used synonymously from here on in this paper). ISO 14000 provides a tool for environmental management that is understood and accepted across borders and, therefore, has great applicability to organizations that perform national and international operations, such as those in the petroleum industry. The system formalizes and standardizes common sense techniques of management that can be gauged and understood by others. It is similar to ISO 9000 (Quality Management System) and organizations that have implemented ISO 9000 can, relatively with ease, develop an ISO 14000 system.

Implementation of the environmental management system in accordance with the ISO 14000 standards will help the petroleum industry in:

  • developing good environmental management practices that are protective of humans, ecology, and property,

  • receiving international recognition for maintaining effective environmental practices that should ease conducting petroleum activities in various parts of the world, and

  • developing environmental management programs that are common sense and business driven.

The ISO 14000 system requires continuous improvement and goes beyond regulatory requirement within the constraints of resource availability. The system is a dynamic system that promotes a constant improvement cycle as shown in the Figure 1.

Constant Improvement Cycle for Environmental Management(Available in full paper)
Application of Environmental Management System For the Petroleum Industry

Environmental management has become one of the most important issues in any business trade. Especially, in the case of the petroleum industry, which many consider a major polluter of the environment, it is imperative that it uses a good environmental management system to ensure sustainable growth.

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