We welcome back Derek for the second part in the ISO 14001 Steps to Success Podcast, sharing key considerations for creating an Environmental Management System (EMS).
An average EMS is a 30 page manual – however others have a light touch – just a few pages and links to documents. As Derek points out you don’t actually need a manual, however Derek recommends having a structure and a ‘helicopter’ view so that your environmental documents and controls can be easily accessed by employees.
ISO 14001 already has a structure – we only need to cover clauses 4.0 – 10.0 which does provide a structure if you are looking for one. The EMS will include a scope – which is simply a description of what you actually do as an organisation. It will also cover how you operate from an environmental perspective, including leadership commitment, monitoring and measurement of the environmental performance.
The onus doesn’t necessarily need to be on an ‘Environmental Manager’, as many businesses don’t need one. However, identifying and understanding roles and responsibilities is key and can be referenced in a Job Description/Organisation Chart and/or Process Maps to make it crystal clear ‘who does what and when’.
Controls need to be established to mitigate risk, and to control and minimise the environmental impact i.e. CO2 emissions of the organisation. Derek’s preferred method is to create visually engaging processes in collaboration with the process owners. It’s always good to get operatives involved in the creation and implementation of the environmental system, as they will know exactly what waste the company is producing and how it can be reduced, which will in theory, ultimately result in cost reductions.
Once the EMS is documented, taking into consideration the culture of the organisation you need to keep looking at different methods of sharing and educating the workforce on how to reduce your environmental footprint.
See further information of ISO 14001 Steps to Success
We look forward to catching you on the next episode of the ISO Show where Derek will cover the final episode in the series on how to implement ISO 14001.
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