An effective environmental management system, e.g. ISO 14001, strives for a continual improvement of the environmental performance. The continual improvement sets as a prerequisite knowledge concerning the significant environmental aspects. These environmental aspects involve not only the environmental impact generated at the plant, but also that of the finished product over its entire life cycle. Organizations with a large number of products and processes are, however, not really in a position to evaluate their various activities from an ecological standpoint. Areas where measures for effective improvement might be taken are not obvious. The question arises as to which methods and instruments for the deployment of an effective environmental management system might be applied in these organizations.