The objective of this study is to outline general development steps or trends in environmental management (EM). The traditional EM has been strongly guided by laws and regulations which, in turn, have developed in close connection to major environmental hazards or threats. In contrast, modern EM is proactive rather than reactive. It clearly emphasises the prevention of problems and uses EM as a positive tool to communicate with the whole society. The development of EM in the case company resembles the general development, but in the 1990s the company reached a forerunner position due to its EM systems and environmental certificates.