Building an environmental management system


My mission today is to teach you guys all about environmental sustainability in business. Aside from being a passionate environmentalist before I became a CEO - I studied a Bachelor of Applied Science in environmental management - environmental management for me is about continuing to enjoy that outdoor activity and my outdoor pursuits, and sharing these experiences with my son. Consequently, environmental management and sustainability is about ensuring that what we do as humans in groups like an organisation, company or individually is considering our impact on the planet.

We need to think about sustainability, and what the best practices are for the planet. In order to learn these, 14001 starts to give us a system of methodology; a risk management methodology. Through looking at these options and do the analysis you will be to understand the best way forward to cater for your needs and wants.

Precautionary principle is asking: ‘Do we have a strategy to cope with possible risks where scientific understanding is yet to be fully complete or at this stage it’s incomplete?’.

In other words, the precautionary principle, the real summary is thinking about the consequences of your actions and, if you don’t know what the consequences are, then would it be a wise decision to not act. If you know that something is environmentally damaging in the context of what ISO 14001 is specifically looking for a debate, definition or commitment to the prevention of pollution.

If you know there’s an activity that’s environmentally damaging, and you have an ISO 14001 Management System, this implies that you won’t participate in the damaging activity and therefore, you will be more environmentally sustainable.

Precautionary principle is part of ISO 14001. When you look at ISO 14001 and you look at the clause on environmental policy it's calling for three commitments including: commitment to the prevention of pollution it's calling to commitments and continual improvement. It is also calling for commitment to your legal obligations, requiring compliance with legal and other requirements. It's asking you to complete and commit to those three commitments so the precautionary principle is embedded in ISO 14001. Then 14001 is saying: ‘Commit to prevention of pollution’, so if you know of an activity that you do that's environmentally damaging. It's important to use that environmental policy and the commitments of the environmental policy as the guide.

The concept of ISO 14001 is starting to understand that the precautionary principle - which is if you know that something is environmentally damaging - you’re saying that you’re committed to the prevention of pollution and other detrimental factors for the environment, and that ideally you want to be working away from that environmentally damaging activity now in business.

When you're trying to run a profit and loss and a balance sheet and deliver dividends to shareholders and pay salaries to staff and keep that business healthy and viable and financial, you can't just switch these things off like for example, if you burn coal for your electricity or someone else burns before you and sells of electricity and you just can't operate your business without coal-fired power. It's important to start to talk and liaise and consult within the business about how you might start over time to take the business on a more sustainable direction and that's what ISO 14001 is all about.

Environmental aspects are one of the core definitions of ISO 14001, with a good understanding of environmental aspects the rest of the standards should make sense. The environmental aspect is the elements of an organisation's activities, products or services that interacts or can interact with the environment.

In order to write an environmental aspect/ impact, have a look at the theme of caring about the things that you are doing. It’s the element of an organisations activities products of services that interactions or can interact with the environment.

Environmental impact is defined as a change to the environment whether adverse or beneficial, wholly or partially resulting from an organization’s.

ISO 14001 starts displaying the need for monitoring and starts to unpack how is the company is actually going and how it can be improved overtime. A clear picture of your organisation environmental performance is going to show you the five things that are going to give you a picture. and help you understand the high risk issues with your suppliers and customers; these will in turn feed into your systems and add value to those environmental decisions.

By going to the customer and asking what they identify as a key risk towards them created by the company, you will be able to increase not only customer relations but also helping you decide what high risk issues you are going to focus on.

14001 is …

  • International Standard for Environmental Management Systems

  • The format can be used to manage other risk areas of the business

  • Identify environmental impacts and positive opportunities

  • It’s simple, easy to follow and good for the planet!

ISO 14001: 2015 Environmental Management System - Requirements

  • Takes a risk based approach to environmental management

  • The format is the same as ISO 9001 Quality Management System

  • The flow reflects the logical flow of risk management

  • It’s easy to integrate with a Quality Management System and mirrors the most exciting upgrade to ISO 9001 ever

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