Environmental Management - ISO 14001

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The ISO 14001 environmental management standard exists to help organisations minimize how their operations negatively affect the environment (cause adverse changes to air, water, or land) and comply with applicable laws and regulations.
ISO 14001 is the international specification for an environmental management system (EMS). It specifies requirements for establishing an environmental policy, determining environmental aspects and impacts of products/activities/services, planning environmental objectives and measurable targets, implementation and operation of programs to meet objectives and targets, checking and corrective action, and management review.
ISO 14001 is similar to ISO 9001 quality management in that both pertain to the process (the comprehensive outcome of how a product is produced) rather than to the product itself. The overall idea is to establish an organized approach to systematically reduce the impact of the environmental aspects which an organisation can control. Effective tools for the analysis of environmental aspects of an organisation and for the generation of options for improvement are provided by the concept of Cleaner Production.
What accredited certification to ISO 14001 means

The accredited certification process is expected to ensure that the organisation has an environmental management system, suitable for the nature of its activities, products and services, that conforms to the requirements of ISO 14001, and in particular can demonstrate for the defined scope that the organisation:
A. has defined an environmental policy appropriate to the nature, scale and environmental impacts of its activities, products and services.
B. has identified the environmental aspects of its activities, products and services that it can control and/or influence and determined those that can have a significant environmental impact (including those related to suppliers/contractors).
C. has procedures in place to identify applicable environmental legislation and other relevant requirements, to determine how these apply to its environmental aspects and to keep this information up to date.
D. has implemented effective controls in order to meet its commitment to comply with applicable legal and other requirements.
E. has defined environmental objectives and targets that are measurable, where practicable, taking into account legal requirements and significant environmental aspects, and has programmers in place to achieve these objectives and targets.
F. ensures that people working for or on behalf of the organisation are aware of the requirements of its environmental management system and are competent to perform tasks
that have the potential to cause significant environmental impacts.
G. has implemented procedures for communicating internally, as well as responding to and
communicating (as necessary) with interested external parties.
H. ensures that those operations associated with significant environmental aspects are carried out under specified conditions and monitors and controls the key characteristics of its operations that can have a significant environmental impact.
I. has established and (where practicable) tested procedures to address and respond to emergencies that can have an effect on the environment.
J. periodically evaluates its compliance with applicable legal and other requirements.
K. aims to prevent nonconformities, and has procedures in place to:
1. correct any nonconformities that do occur
2. analyze the cause of any such nonconformities and take corrective action to avoid their
L. has implemented effective internal audit and management review procedures.
The Government Environmental Management System Guidelines (Edition 3 – August 2013) were developed to facilitate the achievement of improved environmental performance by the construction industry.
Government Agencies may accept a Corporate Environmental Management System if they are provided with:
• Evidence that the Corporate Environmental Management System was accredited in accordance with the Government Environmental Management Systems Guidelines Edition 2 within the preceding three year period; or
• An audit report by an Approved Assessor attesting that the Corporate Environmental Management System:
o complies with the documentation requirements ISO 14001:2004 Environmental management systems;
o appropriately comprehends all current Environmental Legislation and other Environmental requirements; and
o Includes requirements for audit, by an Approved Assessor independent of the Contractor, of compliance, currency and effective implementation at intervals of not less than three years.

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