Many businesses already have health and safety and quality management systems in place. With increased focus on the environment in which we live and protecting it for future generations, there is an increased focus on environmental management and the ISO 14001 standard. The ISO 14001:2015 environmental management standard has been released. So what does it all mean?
It is important that you add to your existing management system rather than create a separate environmental management system. So what are the 6 main additions an organisation needs?
1. Environmental Aspects The impacts on the environment the business has needs to be planned for. These impacts include those for normal operation as well as in other situations including during emergencies. Aspects which have a significant impact on the environment (i.e. highest risk) need to have controls and programmes in place to reduce this risk.
2. Compliance Obligations The legal requirements and regulations that the business complies with needs to be planned for and documented. The implications of these requirements need to be considered and communicated to staff where relevant.
3. Communication Businesses need to have an effective means for communicating with all people who may be affected by the business’s products, services and operations. These people typically include shareholders, customers, staff, suppliers, contractors, partners and the community. Communications would include concerns over the potential impacts of the business on the environment.
4. Emergency Preparedness and Response As many businesses found out during the Christchurch earthquake, they were not as well prepared as they may have thought. Many suffered badly and some are no longer in business today. A response plan verified to work for the most likely emergencies the business may encounter is important.
5. Monitoring and Measurement (operations) Audit has a compliance focus. You should use it when you need to know the extent that people are following your procedures including operations. Other means for monitoring and measuring whether your operations meet your business requirements should also be considered. This normally includes measures and targets.
6. Evaluation of Compliance The process for how the business determines that it is compliant with all its legal requirements and regulations also needs to be documented.
Till next time,
P.S. Our Integrated Management System Builder course provides you with what you need to integrate the ISO 14001:2015 requirements into your existing management system
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