The integration of environmental impact assessment and environmental management systems: experiences from the UK
Environmental impact assessments (EIA) and environmental management systems (EMS) enable organisations to identify, assess and manage environmental impacts throughout a development's lifecycle, improving overall environmental performance. To ensure these tools are used efficiently and effectively, their synergies and links ought to be recognised and exploited, although the extent to which this occurs in practice is uncertain. Focusing on the UK, this paper reviews experience of linking the tools and presents four case studies demonstrating different aspects of integration. Further efforts are needed to seek and share good practice in order to improve prospects for integration. These efforts should prioritise sectors where EIA development regularly occurs, EMS is well established and a single organisation commonly has involvement across project phases.