ISO 14001 Environmental Management System
An Environmental Management System (EMS) is a structured system which helps an organisation to identify the environmental impacts resulting from its business activities and to improve its environmental performance. The system aims to provide a methodical approach to planning, implementing and reviewing an organisation’s environmental management.
The environmental aspects of an organisation are the activities, products and services that have or can have an impact on the environment. An EMS enables an organisation to identify its environmental aspects and determines which of them can have a significant impact on the environment. This helps an organisation understand how it interacts with the environment. This in turn guides an organisation in determining where environmental controls or improvements are needed, and in the setting of priorities for action to improve environmental performance.
Advantages of an EMS
- Set targets to reduce energy use, water use & waste to landfill
- Monitor and measure environmental performance against key indicators
- Ensure due diligence and ongoing consideration of legal and other environmental requirements
- Assist with environmental reporting as required by s.516a of the EPBC Act 1999
- Obtain competitive advantage
- Build goodwill from customers, employees and stakeholders.
What is AS/NZS ISO 14001:2015?
AS/NZS ISO 14001:2015 is an international standard (ISO) for the requirements of an environmental management system, adopted jointly by Australia and New Zealand (AS/NZS). The AS/NZS ISO 14001:2015 sets the requirements for organisations to manage their impact on the environment.
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An EMS can be a very powerful tool for organisations to not only improve their environmental performance but to also enhance their business efficiency. An EMS is not prescriptive, rather, it requires organisations to take an active role in examining their practices, and then determining how their impacts should best be managed. This approach encourages creative and relevant solutions from within the organisation itself.
Although the implementation of an EMS is essentially a voluntary initiative, it can also become an effective tool for governments to protect the environment as it can assist regulation. For example, regulatory systems can encourage organisations to use EMS to meet the ISO 14000 standard, by providing incentives for strong environmental performance.
Likewise, organisations can use EMS to ensure that their performance is within regulatory requirements, and to keep ahead of more stringent regulations which might be introduced in the future.
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The ISO 14000 series is a voluntary standard that assists organisations to achieve environmental and financial gains through the implementation of effective management. The standards provide both a model for streamlining management, and guidelines to ensure issues relating to the environment are considered within decision making practices.
ISO 14001 is the standard for EMS.
Why have an Environmental Management System?
An Environmental Management System (EMS) is a tool for managing the impacts of an organisation’s activities on the environment. It provides a structured approach to planning and implementing environment protection measures.
An EMS monitors environment performance and integrates management systems into a company’s daily operations, long term planning and other management systems.
An Environmental Management System (EMS) can assist a company in the following ways:
- Minimise environmental liabilities
- Reduce waste
- Build awareness of environmental concern among employees
- Maximize the efficient use of resources
- Gain a better understanding of the environmental impacts of business activities and
- Demonstrate a good corporate image
- Increase profit, improving environmental performance, through more efficient operations.
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