What are the Ecomapping's potential benefits and limitations?

The potential benefits of Ecomapping

  • Eco-mapping allows an organisation to easily visualise the origins of environmental impacts at its premises ;
  • The tool is free and can be used inexpensively ;
  • It can be used to encourage all employees to become involved in embedding environmental changes and thinking across the organisation’s personnel and ‘on site’ activities. Anyone in the organisation can use the tool to support their work and training ;
  • Raises awareness, by providing an easy-to-understand visual representation of the seriousness and geographical impact of environmental behaviour and management;
  • Provides a systematic review for wide ranging environmental issues ;
  • Can be used regularly to instill continuous improvement ;
  • Can provide a method for communicating environmental assurance to stakeholders.
  • Ecomapping can provide a base upon which to seek other environmental standards such as ISO 14000 and EMAS - the Eco-management Audit Scheme regulation or other enviroonmental management system.

What are the limitations of the system?

  • Can be perceived as not being serious or formal enough for larger organisations ;
  • It is less strong on determining risks and future challenges and trends ;
  • It is more difficult to use for a site that covers a large area ;
  • It focuses on site premises and so may be difficult for organisations that work at multiple sites or in a more diverse set of places ;
  • It deals with environmental impact only, and does not focus on social or economic impacts, except when they are concerned directly with the environment.