Environmental Management and Audit Scheme
Detailed description of the Good Practice
The project whose aim was to adapt and develop an envionmental management and audit system (EMS) to the needs of the Lahti city organization was initiated at the end of 1994. The Lahti-EMS process aims at a systematic, holistic and interactive approach to reducing the environmental impact of the city´s activities. It is a kind of an application of the EU´s Eco-Management and Audit Scheme for industry and it includes both direct and indirect impacts on the city´s activities. Improving environmental awareness and performance as well as choosing city´s environmental priorities represents a complex planning and decision-making process, in which local authorities from different levels, politicians, citizens and stakeholders should be involved. Public participation is an important part of the EMS-process as well.
Objectives of the Good Practice
Objectives were to integrate an EMS into the city administration to achieve that sustainability aspects are integrated in the overall work.
Participants of the Good Practice
City Environmental Office was the coordinator, but all offices of the city as well as municipal energy, water work and waste management companies are involved in the process
Target group of the Good Practice
More Details of the Good Practice
The environmental analysis, which is done separately for each operational unit, has been an essential starting point for setting functional environmental objectives and the means for different levels of the city organisation. Also, a set of seminars has been arranged for participating city personnel, other related authorities and city politicians to run the EMS-process and to evaluate the results achieved.
The City Council approved the environmental policy in October 1995 and the environmental program in September 1996. The first environ-mental audit was done in 1996 by an external consultant, and the audit-ing results are used to identify the problems and advantages of the EMS process. Local newspapers, radio stations, exhibitions in libraries and lectures have been used to inform the public about the process and its results. For intensive communication direct contacts have been made with local citizen groups and NGOs. A significant part of the participation has been channeled through the Lahti Environmental Forum, which is a slightly supported participative process set up to create the Local Agenda 21. The Lahti-EMS is a part of the Local Agenda 21 for the Lahti Region
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Data sources and references
Baltic Cities Environmental Bulletin 2/1997