The United Nation Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janario, 1992 declared the development activities is carried out through the commitment towards the conservation of natural resources and the protection of the environment.
Now day’s industries of all over world are facing a challenge to manufacture the products or provide the services without damaging or adversely impacting on the environment.
One possible method and the one currently being implemented in various industries is the Environmental Management System (EM). EMS is a structured approach to address the environmental bottom line.
“Improve your environmental performance can improve your business performance”
Environmental Management System makes good business.
Environmental Management System: A systematic process of minimizing adverse environmental impacts of an organization or a systematic process of improving environmental performance.
Why an organization adopts environmental management system?
• Efficiency, discipline and operational integration with ISO 9001:2000
• Greater employee involvement in business operations with a more motivated workforce.
• Easier to obtain operational permits and authorizations.
• Assists in developing and transferring technology within the company.
• Helps reduce pollution.
• Fewer operating costs
• Savings from safer working environment.
• Reductions of costs associated with emissions, discharge, waste handling, transport and disposal.
• Improvements in the product as a result of process changes.
• Safer products.
2. Environmental Benefits:
• Minimizes hazardous and non hazardous waste.
• Conservation and optimum use of natural resources.
• Prevents pollution and reduce wastage.
• Compliance of environmental standards.
3. Marketing Benefits:
• Demonstrates to customers that the firm has met environmental expectations.
• Meets potential national and international government purchasing requirements.
• Delivers profits from marketing environment friendly products
• Improves international competitiveness.
4. Financial Benefits:
• Improves the organization’s relationship with insurance.
• Elimination of costs associated with conformance to conflicting national standards.
For certification of EMS:
The ISO 14001: 2004 is the most popular standard for the declaration of Environmental Management System certification of any types, nature and scale of the organization. The standard covers the principles of an environmental management system and provides guidance on the development and introduction of such a system. This system leads to continuous improvement of environmental performance of the organization.
The Environmental Management System ISO 14001 should cover the following steps:
• Environmental Policy- Develop a statement of the organization’s commitment to the environment. Top management must develop a company wide policy on environmental issues and educate employees.
• Environmental aspects- Identify the environmental aspects of the organization’s activities, products and services and their impact on the environment. Performing initial environmental review within the organization to collect the environmental information.
• Legal and other requirement- Identify relevant environmental legislation and other requirement which the organization subscribes
• Objectives and target- Set environmental objectives and targets in line with the environmental policy of the organization.
• Environmental Management Programs-Plan of actions in order to achieve objectives and targets. The EMPs include the responsibilities to perform the activities, timeframe and the budget for the completion of the particular programs.
• Structure and responsibility- Define roles, responsibilities and authorities for the establishment, implementation and maintenance of EMS.
• Training, awareness and competence- Organization ensures its employees are trained and competent to carry out the environmental responsibilities.
• Communication- Establish the process for internal communication and external communication regarding environmental management issues.
• Document Control- organization ensure the documents are readily identifiable, available and kept in orderly manner as well as well preserved.
• Operational Control- Identify, plan and manage the operation and activity in by the organization line with the organization policy, objectives and targets.
• Emergency preparedness and response- Organization ensure to identify potential emergencies and environmental hazards and develop a procedure for preventing and responding them.
• Monitoring and measurement- Monitor key activities and track performance
• Evaluation of Compliance- Organization ensure the compliance of all legal and other requirement including applicable environmental standards, permits and licences etc to which the organization subscribes.
• Non conformance and corrective and preventive action- Identify and corrects and nonconformities and prevent reoccurrence.
• Records- Keep updates record of EMS performance.
• EMS- Periodically verifies the compliance of EMS as per planned arrangement.
• Management review- Periodically reviews the implementation status of EMS after the EMS audit with an eye to continual improvement.
Relationship between ISO 9001: 2000 and ISO14001:2004
ISO 14001 shares common management system features with the ISO 9001 quality management system standards and firms can use their QMS as the foundation for the implementation of environmental management system.