The Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA), an agency within the Department of the Environment, aims to protect and conserve Northern Ireland’s natural and built environment, to control and regulate pollution and to promote wider appreciation of the environment and environmental practices.
NIEA published a position statement on Better Regulation (‘Better Regulation for a Better Environment’) in March 2008, outlining the agency’s Better Regulation Programme. The Better Regulation Team is responsible for co-ordinating and delivering the Agency’s commitment to deliver more effective, risk-based regulation, covering Compliance Assistance, Compliance Assessment, Streamlined Permitting and Effective Enforcement.
Central to the Better Regulation Programme is the promotion of good environmental compliance and performance. Good environmental practices, in particular, the implementation of Environmental Management Systems (EMS), are good for the environment and bring about tangible benefits to business. As a result of its engagement with industry, NIEA recognises the need for relevant, local case studies to illustrate these benefits.
The aim of this study is to demonstrate the benefits of good environmental compliance and performance for a wide range of companies who have developed good environmental practices and, in particular, the role that EMS can play in delivering improved compliance and performance. The study will involve quantifying the environmental and financial benefits, in particular, resource and process efficiency, overall environmental legal compliance and cost savings.