A good environmental management system (EMS) provides the link that enables organizations to achieve both their environmental and business goals— and getting an EMS up and running is an achievement worth celebrating. But for an EMS to survive and produce results, it must become fully integrated into the organization's operational and organizational culture, rather than simply act as add-on procedures and processes. This can be achieved, but a host of commonly encountered obstacles reduce the effectiveness of an EMS. This article presents some of the typical challenges encountered in maintaining an effective EMS, such as ensuring continued support, maintaining momentum, and finding resources. The recommendations presented draw from solutions implemented across a wide variety of organizations and focus on those most critical to integrating environmental considerations into an organization's everyday working culture. © 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.