American Journal of Environmental Sciences

A Review of Environmental Management Systems in Global Defence Sectors

Xiao Hua Wang and Wen Wu

DOI : 10.3844/ajessp.2013.164.181

American Journal of Environmental Sciences

Volume 9, Issue 2

Pages 164-181


Environmental management is a key element in ensuring positive environmental performance of an organization. The integration of environmental management into military activities has also become a growing concern for defence sectors internationally. At present, an Environmental Management System (EMS) is one of the most widely used environmental management tools throughout the world. Recent research and public concerns have been increasingly concentrated on EMS implementation and evaluation, examining how an EMS improves environmental performance. This study provides a literature review mainly on several areas: EMS related concepts, its application and evaluation methods in global defence sectors. It is found that there are no significant differences in the EMS adoption and implementation between different countries and defence sectors. Currently, there is no universal method for EMS evaluation. A case-by-case approach is preferred as long as evidence can be found to provide support for the evaluation of an EMS. Based on the review, relevant recommendations are discussed from aspects, such as environmental performance indicator, independent evaluation, data and information collection and environmental monitoring and reporting, that should help to ensure the EMS a helpful tool for sustainable environmental management. This review provides a general overview, identifies knowledge gaps and highlights aspects of the research regarding EMS implementation and evaluation; it is useful for strengthening the EMS operation, clarifying the relationship between the use of an EMS and environmental performance and producing operational guidelines for evaluating an EMS.


© 2013 Xiao Hua Wang and Wen Wu. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.