How to Build the Case for an Environmental Management Information System

Getting buy-in for an Environmental Management Information System (EMIS) can be a daunting task. It’s tough to prove the value of an EMIS Software before implementing one, so it’s important that you gather the right team to maximize the voice and impact of your initiative. This post will highlight some of the key stakeholders to get on your side and provide some tips on how to prepare your business case.


Who do I need on my side?

  • Your Teammates
    • Getting some of your peers on track can be the first step to building the case for an EMIS. Speak with a few colleagues you trust, and make sure they agree on your need for an EMIS. They will likely understand your pains, so you can work together to build a list of requirements before moving things forward.
  • An Executive Sponsor
    • This is one of the more obvious stakeholders to involve in your project. Make sure you have an executive champion who sees the value of implementing an EMIS and who will help move things forward and bypass roadblocks.
  • An IT Representative
    • Having the IT department on your side is extremely advantageous when looking to implement any type of enterprise software. You want to identify at least one member of the IT team who will understand the benefits of using an EMIS and be willing to work with you to evaluate vendors. Share your list of requirements with them and have them add their list of IT requirements to your list.
  • An External Party
    • This could be a consultant or simply someone from another team in your company. It’s always helpful to have a fresh perspective on your project. Ideally this person is neutral and willing to work with you to identify any missing pieces in your business case.


How do I build the case?

There is no science to building a business case for an EMIS, but there are some standard items that should be covered when building your case:

  • Identify the Need
    • You need to prove that having an EMIS is going to help the environmental team at your organization. You can do this by showing the challenges your team is facing on a regular basis, and highlighting the features that different EMIS providers include to help solve these challenges.
  • Review Vendors
    • Make sure you have an understanding of the different EMIS vendors on the market and what differentiates each of them. Your IT department will want to ensure you are giving a fair chance to different vendors, so present them with a few different options and give reasons for why you chose certain vendors over others.
  • Make a Project Plan
    • Building a project plan adds weight to your business case and shows that you’re serious about implementing an EMIS. Be sure to include a timeline and associate each key deliverable with a specific date or range of time.
  • Establish a Budget
    • Work together with IT and your consultant – if you have one – to build out a budget for the implementation. Include key items such as the internal and external wages of employees and consultants, the initial cost of the software, and the cost of later development.


Building the case for an EMIS can be a long and difficult process, but if you gather the right team and build a solid case, you can ensure the success of your project. For more information on building the case and achieving buy-in for an EMIS, read the full whitepaper and watch the webinar.

About the Author

Ian Cohen

Ian Cohen, MS is the Product Marketing Manager responsible for Cority's Environmental and Safety initiatives. Before taking this role, Ian was Cority's Environmental Product Manager, where he was responsible for developing Cority's Environmental Compliance and Data Management Suite. Prior to working with Cority, Ian was an environmental specialist at Florida Power & Light Company, a NextEra Energy, Inc., company, where he led the development, implementation, and management of various environmental management systems and programs. Ian is well versed in the development of enterprise environmental management information systems and is a subject matter expert in corporate sustainability, including program development, annual reporting and stakeholder communications. Ian earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and a Master of Science in Environmental Science, both from The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

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