Environmental and social responsibility is becoming more and more important in today’s global economy. There are thousands of environmental and social codes and standards in the world today. The codes and standards define the rules and the objectives. But the challenge is in the implementation. An environmental and social management system (ESMS) helps companies to integrate the rules and objectives into core business operations, through a set of clearly defined, repeatable processes. This Handbook is intended to be a practical guide to help companies develop and implement an environmental and social management system, which should help to improve overall operations. Version 2.1 November 2015 ESMS Implementation Handbook – General 5 In the current economic climate, companies are under pressure to perform or even just survive. New initiatives are often met with resistance as people struggle to keep up with their day-to day responsibilities. Some people think that an environmental and social management system must be big, complicated and expensive. But that is not really true. To be effective, a management system needs to be scaled to the nature and size of the company. If a company has existing management systems for quality or health and safety, this Handbook will help to expand them to include environmental and social performance. Our hope is that this Handbook will accelerate a company’s journey of continual improvement, for its own benefit and that of its employees and stakeholders.