British Standard

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This page provides an introduction to British Standard 7750 (BS7750), and provides links to many other environmentally oriented pages.


BS7750 Description
Audit & Review Cycle
Comparison of EMAS, ISO14001 & BS7750
Other Environmental Pages


BS7750 is a specification for an environmental management system. The system is used to describe the company's environmental management system, evaluate its performance and to define policy, practices, objectives and targets; and provides a catalyst for continuous improvement.

The concept is similar to the use of ISO9000 for quality systems, with the methods to be used open to definition by the company. The standard provides the framework for development and assessment of the resultant environmental management system.

BS7750 was developed as a resonse to concern about environmental risks and damage (both real and potential). Compliance to the standard is voluntary for companies, and complements required compliance to statutory legislation.

The standard was first published in June 1992, and was subsequently reviewed and revised to a new January 1994 issue.

BS7750 is now designed to be compatible with the European Community's Eco-Management & Audit Scheme (EMAS) and also with International Standard ISO14001.

BS7750 requires an Environmental Policy to be in existence within the organisation, fully supported by senior management, and outlining the policies of the company, not only to the staff but to the public. The policy needs to clarify compliance with Environmental Legislation that may effect the organization and stress a commitment to continuous improvement. Emphasis has been placed on policy as this provides the direction for the remainder of the Management System.

Those companies who have witnessed ISO9000 Assessments will know that the policy is frequently discussed during the assessment, many staff are asked if they understand or are aware of the policy, and any problems associated with the policy are seldom serious. The Environmental Policy is different, this provides the initial foundation and direction for the Management System and will be more stringently reviewed than a similar ISO9000 policy. The statement must be publicised in non-technical language so that it can be understood by the majority of readers. It should relate to the sites within the organisation encompassed by the Management System, it should provide an overview of the company’s activities on the site and a description of those activities. A clear picture of the company’s operations.

The preparatory review and definition of the organization's environmental effects is not part of a BS7750 Assessment, however examination of this data will provide an external audit with a wealth of information on the methods adopted by the company. The preparatory review itself should be comprehensive in consideration of input processes and output at the site. This review should be designed to identify all relevant environmental aspects that may arise from existence on the site. These may relate to current operations, they may relate to future, perhaps even unplanned future activities, and they will certainly relate to the activities performed on site in the past (i.e. contamination of land).

The initial or preparatory review will also include a wide-ranging consideration of the legislation which may effect the site, whether it is currently being complied with, and perhaps even whether copies of the legislation are available. Many of the environmental assessments undertaken already have highlighted that companies are often unaware of ALL of the legislation that affects them, and being unaware, are often not meeting the requirements of that legislation.

The company will declare its primary environmental objectives, those that can have most environmental impact. In order to gain most benefit these will become the primary areas of consideration within the improvement process, and the company’s environmental program. The program will be the plan to achieve specific goals or targets along the route to a specific goal and describe the means to reach those objectives such that they are real and achievable. The Environmental Management System provides further detail on the environmental programme. The EMS establishes procedures, work instructions and controls to ensure that implementation of the policy and achievement of the targets can become a reality. Communication is a vital factor, enabling people in the organisation to be aware of their responsibilities, aware of the objectives of the scheme, and able to contribute to its success.

The environmental audit and review cycle

As with ISO9000 the Environmental Management System requires a planned comprehensive periodic audit of the Environmental Management System to ensure that it is effective in operation, is meeting specified goals, and the system continues to perform in accordance with relevant regulations and standards. The audits are designed to provide additional information in order to exercise effective management of the system, providing information on practices which differ to the current procedures or offer an opportunity for improvement.

In addition to audit, there is a requirement for Management Review of the system to ensure that it is suitable (for the organization and the objectives) and effective in operation. The management review is the ideal forum to make decisions on howe to improve for the future.

Comparison of EMS Standards

System ElementISO14000EMASBS7750
Environmental Management System4.0ANNEX I, Part B4.1
Preparatory Environmental ReviewANNEX A.4.2.1 (Guide)Article 3, Paragraph b ANNEX I, Part CANNEX A.1.2 (Guide)
Environmental Policy4.1ANNEX I, Part A and D4.2
Organisation and Personnel4.3.1, 4.3.2ANNEX I, Part B2 & D114.3
Environmental Effects/ Aspects4.2.1, 4.2.2ANNEX I, Part B3 & D2/34.4
Objectives and Targets4.2.3ANNEX I, Part A44.5
Environmental Management Programmes4.2.4ANNEX I, Part A54.6
Manual and Documentation4.3.4, 4.3.5ANNEX I, Part B54.7
Operational Controls4.3.6, 4.3.7, 4.4.1, 4.4.2ANNEX I, Part B4 & D6-74.8
Records4.4.3ANNEX I, Part B54.9
EMAS Audits4.4.4ANNEX I, Part B6, ANNEX II4.10
Management Review4.5ANNEX I, Part B14.11
Environmental StatementN/AArticle 5 and ANNEX VN/A

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