An Environmental Management System is a system for ensuring that an organisation’s significant environmental impacts are controlled and minimized. The format of the system is similar to a quality management system. ISO14001 is the de facto standard for accreditation.
Why have an Environmental Management System
Where organisations tender to large customers and the public sector (especially the UK public sector) the procurement rules give preference to organisations that have an Environmental Management System. Thus a certified Environmental Management System may make the difference between getting an order or not. If you have an IPC, IED or Waste licence from the EPA, then potentially the annual fees will be reduced as the risk, as evaluated via the RBME, is lowered.
The first step in implementation is to undertake an environmental audit. This will identify the environmental impacts you have and evaluate their significance. The system, has to just manage the significant aspects. Environmental Efficiency have a robust and repeatable methodology to evaluate impacts. The second step is to produce a plan to minimise these significant aspects by actions, procedures and policies. This is documented and the staff are trained. Records are kept. An important part of the system is to check that you are doing what you say you should be doing. This is the check part of the Plan Do Check Act (PDCA) model.
Once the system has been running for around three months you are ready for certification. One common misconception is that all actions have to be completed before certification is achievable, for example all tanks are bunded. This is not the case, as long as you have a plan with realistic timelines and are sticking to the plan, then that is no barrier to certification.
Environmental Efficiency has worked with many companies including timber processing, steel fabrication and food/drink companies to achieve both ISO9001 and ISO14001 certification plus in some case FSC and PEFC certification. Environmental Efficiency has ISO9001 and ISO14001 itself.
Environmental Efficiency also provides Environmental Audits & Energy Audits