Eco-mapping is a visual and easy-to-use toolbox which gets employees involved in good environmental practise. It is the first step towards integrating environmental considerations into the day-to-day activities of SME. Eco-mapping is useful for the implementation of ISO 14001, EMAS regulation or for green productivity.

The development of eco-maps on water, soil, air, waste management, etc. is not a goal in itself. The main interest lies in the fact that it is a participatory learning process which brings immediate positive action and results.

eco-mapping © H. W. Engel

eco-mapping © H. W. Engel

Main features and components

Eco-mapping is:

  • an inventory of practices and problems
  • a systematic method of conducting an on-site environmental review
  • a collection of information which shows the current situation using pictures
  • a work and awareness-raising tool
  • a do-it-yourself tool for SMEs
  • a tool which allows employee involvement and participation

Eco-mapping is environmental management «light»

  • which helps in learning about and collecting data
  • a support for training and communication and internal audits
  • the basis of environmental documentation for your company
  • everyone in your company can use it as a support for their work and training
  • everyone in your company can participate without having written heavy procedures and instructions
  • a method which allows your small company to define and prioritise problems
  • a practical method for conducting an environmental review
  • useful for all stakeholders

Implementation / work steps

1) Make a map of the site, seen from above, including car parks, access areas, roads and the surrounding environment.

2) Get an idea of your material flows and their very nature.

3) Get the workers involved now and do a 120 second audit.

4) – 9) Map out the site. Observe and evaluate behaviour and equipment. The Ecomaps should show the real situation.

10) Organize, manage and communicate


  • A4 -sized paper and a photocopy machine
  • It is best if the tool has the support of the entire organisation, including management so that changes can be implemented and risks addressed.
  • The shareware is offered at no charge, but its use carries the obligation to provide feedback to its creator, Heinz Werner Engel.


  • Environmental management components on a glance
  • Environmental aspects identification
  • Significance of problems
  • Environmental performance indicators
  • Environmental targets
  • Appreciation of information quality
  • Environmental action programme
  • Root cause analysis
  • Costs and benefits
  • Date lines and responsibilities
  • Internal audit date
  • EMS documentation


Phase of intervention
Operating SIA, Management

Level of intervention
Company, Park management

Awareness Raising, Energy efficiency, Management, Resource efficiency

Target groups
Companies, SME, Industrial area management and operator



less than an hour of work for each map; approximately two days per year year will be sufficient time to implement the tool


Related tools
PREMA ® – Profitable Resource Efficient Management