What is EcoCompass?

An environmental management system designed for the use of SMEs and events

The EcoCompass certificate demonstrates a commitment to continuously improving and complying with the 10 criteria of EcoCompass.

EcoCompass is based both on the respective Nordic environmental management systems and on international standards on environmental management:

Webpages of EMAS provide a comparison between EcoCompass and EMAS.  The comparison shows the similarities and differences between the two systems with the result “Relation to EMAS: Very close”. The EMAS system is based on an EU regulation and it consists of an environmental system according to the ISO 14001 standard and of an environmental report.

Special features of the EcoCompass are focusing on concrete measures, ready-to-be-used tools and personal support by an EcoCompass adviser in the implementation process.

EcoCompass is owned and managed by the Finnish Association for Nature Conservation, which is the largest and oldest environmental NGO in Finland. The cities of Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa and Kauniainen, as well as the Finnish Olympic Committee and the Finnish Ministry for Education and Culture have played an important role in history of the certificate.

An easy way to start

EcoCompass provides you with a ready-made model, tools and a personal counsellor to set up an environmental management system.

The EcoCompass environmental management system consists of the following parts:

  • Initial survey
  • Assessment of environmental impacts
  • Identification of legal requirements
  • Environmental policy
  • Environmental goals and measures
  • External assessment or auditing
  • Annual monitoring and reporting

Customised together

EcoCompass is suitable for SMEs and events, regardless of their nature. The EcoCompass counsellor and user together customise the environmental management system to support the activities in question. The activity doesn’t have to be ‘green’ from the beginning.

EcoCompass is in use in very different sectors. It is a suitable tool even if the activity is known to have hazardous environmental impacts. The idea is to systematically and target-orientedly mitigate and manage hazardous environmental impacts.

An expert helps you

EcoCompass offers an environmental expert for your use who personally advises on how to build up the system and trains your key persons. From behind EcoCompass, you can find many professionals and experts from the fields of energy, mobility, waste and water management, and environmental monitoring.

The external assessment of the EcoCompass environmental management system is executed by an auditor who we have trained. The auditor checks that all the ten criteria of EcoCompass are fulfilled. In addition to this, the auditor provides development suggestions and ideas based on their own expertise.

Even after constituting the system, the counsellor is available and ready to provide tips and information. You will become part of the EcoCompass network and can for example order the newsletter and participate in the annual network meeting.

What is the use of EcoCompass?

The environmental certificate is an easy way to meet a customer’s requirements, for example in competitive biddings. The criteria of EcoCompass are available for everybody on our web pages and you can also attach them to the bidding documents. The external authentication confirms the implementation of the criteria in practice. A relevant proof of well-performed environmental work can be a pre-requisite for the beginning of cooperation or a customer relationship.

Energy and material efficiency, as well as of well organized waste management generates cost savings. Depending on the nature of the activity in question, significant savings can be made for example by setting the focus on managing the wastage. It is possible to achieve and maintain an adequate level by well-planned operations and by measuring the success.

The recognition of environmental impacts and legal obligations, as well as the development of target-oriented operations are all parts of risk management. In practice, it could be about reducing the amount and harmfulness of used chemicals, ensuring the storage safety and documenting the operations, for instance, in a way that the responsible and sustainable course of actions can be demonstrated for outsiders at any time.

The use of an environmental management system is one way to maintain the competitiveness and improve the business operations. Both in large and small companies the trend is towards integrating sustainability in their core business activities and setting requirements also for business partners; i.e. possibly also for you. With the help of EcoCompass you are able to aggregate all the environmental measures which have already been implemented in your company and to develop the management of environmental issues systematically.

Managing to get your partners to commit themselves to your values engenders credibility and multiplies the good effects from your environmental work. It is often worthwhile to advance gradually and focus first on the most important interest groups.

The image of a company or an event is important not only for the customers and partners in cooperation but also for a company’s own personnel. The employer image and the atmosphere at the workplace improve as the staff can have an influence on working methods and can be assured that the employer acts in a responsible manner.

Read our stories (in Finnish) to see what the companies and event organisers say about EcoCompass.

How can I join EcoCompass?

Contact our central office and ask for an offer.

In the beginning of the EcoCompass cooperation, a company or an event makes an agreement with us. With this agreement, the company in question commits itself to adhering to the EcoCompass criteria and agrees to accept the setting-up fee as well as the annual fee for EcoCompass.

Read more and familiarise yourself with the criteria and prices (in Finnish) of EcoCompass.

EcoCompass in brief

EcoCompass in a nutshell.

FAQ

Where is EcoCompass available? What do you get with the setup fee?

Participants

160 offices, 5000 employees, over 300 000 visitors…