Environmental management systems are parts of corporate organisational structures which contribute to the evaluation and improvement of environmentally relevant impacts of companies. Ökopol supports the implementation of such environmental management systems in particular in small and medium sized enterprises. Apart from projects on EMAS and ISO 14 000 methods at lower standardization levels are carried out, such as “ÖKOPROFIT” or “QuB” (Quality Network of environmentally aware enterprises).

The City of Hamburg contracted Ökopol to carry out introductory programs supporting the introduction of the environmental management system “ÖKOPROFIT” since summer 2004. Hence, Ökopol gained in-depth and manifold experience in the implementation of this specific programme. More details can be found at www.hamburg.de/oekoprofit/

Since August 2007 Ökopol also manages the programme QuB in the area of the City of Hamburg which has a similar structure as ÖKOPROFIT but is specifically targeted to micro enterprises. This programme is integrated in the “Environmental Partnership Hamburg”.

The aim of the two programmes is to create corporate organisational structures which enable companies to identity relevant environmental challenges and achieve respective improvements by implementing concrete measures in the company. This typically results in a reduction of environmental costs and the initiation of investments into integrated environmental protection actions. This is particularly true if investments have short or medium-term pay-back periods.

All certifiable environmental management systems are aim to achieve sustainable and continuous improvements and must be re-certified regularly.

According to the ÖKOPROFIT approach certification is implemented by a working group set-up at regional level (ÖKOPROFIT-Club). Successfully certified enterprises may participate in the Club-meetings and inform themselves about recent developments in environmental topics. The participation in this Club is a precondition for the annual recertification, which may also be carried out less frequently it requested so.

Fifty enterprises take part in the ÖKOPROFIT-Club of Hamburg at present and exchange experiences in 5 workshops per year. The various additional activities of the club members are presented on the club’s web pages www.oekoprofit-club-hamburg.de.