The majority of universities around the world do not have an Environmental Management System (EMS) in place to formally control their many environmental impacts. This research aims to establish the necessary preliminary activities that should be conducted prior to the selection, formulation and installation of an appropriate EMS: such an environmental framework analysis is an essential EMS prerequisite. The University of Leicester in the UK is the research focal point.\ud Waste and energy management studies were conducted on a building-by-building basis across the University estate. A pilot EMS for a specific building was installed and evaluated with the use of Action Research techniques. A comprehensive assessment of the existing 44 environmental co-ordinators (primary building environmental contacts) was made by questionnaire analysis and interview.\ud The research revealed that universities have overlooked an approach to EMS on a\ud “Building Specific-EMS” basis that would assist in eliminating implementation barriers and provide ownership of the local environment. Recognising the limited resources, this staged approach can be logistically managed in terms of auditing, setting suitable targets, analysing performance according to building function and size. Environmental management sub-systems such as waste, energy, travel, etc are useful initial systems to install before embarking on a full EMS. Connecting to primary stakeholders holds the key to successful EMS implementation. The EMS pilot study highlighted the importance of having a comprehensive communications plan and the need for sufficient training to be available in electronic format if environmental experts are not available. The success of an EMS implementation at a university depends primarily upon a bottom-up approach with the support of top-down approaches as and when necessary. The research methods developed to assess the environmental co-ordinators are useful ways to determine the most appropriate co-ordinators to lead an EMS
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