Environmental Management System (EMS)

The Sustainability Team is responsible for the management of the University’s Environmental Management System; ensuring the University complies with relevant environmental legislation and continually reduces its environmental impacts and improves environmental performance.

What is an EMS?

An Environmental Management System (EMS) is a tool for managing the impacts of an organisation's activities on the environment. It provides a structured approach to planning and implementing environmental improvement and protection measures. It takes into account the things that an organisation is required to do because of legislation or other regulations.

University of Liverpool's Environmental Management System (EMS)

The University has had an EMS since August 2017, with continual improvement achieved via a Plan, Do, Check and Act framework.

Adopting an EMS has allowed the University to identify all environmental aspects associated with our operations and implement significant environmental improvements to reduce our impact on the environment.

Following certification to ISO 14001, the Sustainability team has been working across departments to apply and embed the framework at the core of University activities. The ISO14001 system requires us to demonstrate strong leadership and commitment to reducing our environmental footprint, placing this within our wider business context and institutional strategy.

Strategy 2026 puts ethics and integrity at the heart of our decision-making and as we move forward we will look to strengthen how environmental considerations are made during decision-making and planning processes. It also requires that we that we deploy our resources carefully.

In doing this the University remains true to its mission – the advancement of learning and ennoblement of life – and commits to making a difference to society locally, nationally, and internationally.

At a more grass roots level, we will be working with faculty and professional service staff across to the University to look at how we effectively manage impacts at both site and service levels. This will include a review of existing systems and processes to identify where we can maximise efficiencies.

Environmental policy

The University has established its Environmental Policy and ensures that, within the defined scope of our Environmental Management System, it is communicated to all staff and persons working for or on behalf of the University.

It is the responsibility of all staff, students, visitors and contractors to help embed this policy in the everyday life of the University community. 

Through the Environmental policy, we are committed to the operation the EMS. The intended outcomes of the EMS are:

  • Fulfil compliance obligations
  • Achieve environmental objectives
  • Enhance environmental performance
  • Embed the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

UN Sustainable Development Goals

The University makes a significant contribution to environmental sustainability, not only in our role as a recognised Russell Group provider of research and teaching but also in the way we perform as a business and engage positively with the local and wider community. The University recognises the importance of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the role it has to play in ensuring that goals and targets are delivered.

Economic, social and environmental goals are interlinked within the SDG’s and therefore must be progressed simultaneously. Therefore the intended outcomes can be extended to include: 

  • Embedding a culture of sustainability.
  • Certification to ISO14001:2105 will help us achieve our EMS outcomes and demonstrate our approach is effective, providing value for the environment, the University and interested parties.

A full environmental review is conducted every three years ahead of recertification to determine any changes to the University which may affect the intended outcomes of the EMS. In addition, to meet the requirements of ISO14001:2015 the review will include an assessment to determine any changes to the internal and external context in which it operates and the changing needs and expectations of interested parties.

EMS documentation can be viewed below:


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