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Environmental Management Systems

ENLAR Compliance Services, Inc. assists companies with developing, implementing and maintaining environmental management systems. This starts with understanding the requirements of the 14000 standards and continues through maintaining a management system meeting the requirements for ISO 14001 registration.

This web page provides the following information about the environmental management system standards that have been developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO):

The ISO Environmental Standards

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) formed Technical Committee (TC) 207 in 1993. This committee is tasked with "standardization in the field of environmental management tools and systems." TC 207 has produced a number of standards and guidance documents dealing with environmental issues. These standards are reviewed, revised and periodically updated to ensure they continue to be useful.

The table below lists some of the standards that have been developed by TC 207.

Area Standard Title
Environmental Management Systems Requirements ISO 14001:2004 Environmental management systems: Requirements with guidance for use
Additional Guidance on Environmental Management Systems ISO 14004:2004 Environmental management systems – General guidelines on principles, systems and supporting techniques
EMS Auditing ISO 19011:2002 Guidelines for quality and/or environmental management system auditing
Site Assessments ISO 14015:2001 Environmental management – Environmental assessment of sites and organizations
Environmental Labeling ISO 14020:2000 Environmental labels and declarations – General Principles

(Additional labeling standards are ISO 14024:1999, ISO/TR 14025:2000)

Environmental Performance Evaluation ISO 14031:1999 Environmental management – Environmental performance evaluation – Guidelines

(Additional performance evaluation standard is ISO 14032:1999)

Life Cycle Assessment ISO 14040:2006 Environmental management – Life cycle assessment – Principles and framework

(Additional life cycle assessment standards are ISO 14041, 14042, 14043, 14044, 14047, 14048, 14049)

Product Design ISO/TR 14062:2002 Environmental management – Integrating environmental aspects into product design and development
Environmental Communication ISO 14063:2006 Environmental management – Environmental Communication – Guidelines and examples
Greenhouse Gas ISO 14064-1:2006
ISO 14064-2:2006
ISO 14064-3:2006
Standards for quantification and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions and the validation and verification of greenhouse gas assertions

For more information about TC 207 activities go to www.tc207.org.

In addition to the ISO standards developed by TC 207, there are some other ISO standards and guides that are important for certification of EMS management systems. These are listed in the following table.

Standard Title
ISO/IEC Guide 66:1999 General requirements for bodies operating assessment and certification/registration of environmental management systems (EMS)
ISO 17021 ISO standard developed to replace Guide 66.
ISO 17024:2003 General requirements for bodies operating certification of persons

For additional information about these standards and the ISO conformity assessment processes, go to ENLAR's web page on ISO Certification.

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Introduction to ISO 14001:2004

ISO 14001 is the standard used by a registrar to determine whether an organization will be certified. Similar in structure to ISO 9001, it outlines the requirements companies must meet if they want to obtain certification (registration) of their environmental management system. ISO 14001 was first published in 1996 and was revised in 2004.

Organizations had 18 months (until May 15, 2006) to upgrade their EMS to meet the requirements of ISO 14001:2004.

For more information about making the transition from ISO 14001:1996 to ISO 14001:2004, check out ENLAR's Quick Guide to ISO 14001:2004.

To obtain a copy of ISO 14001:2004, go to ASQMore resources and links.

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Key Elements of ISO 14001:2004

The ISO 14001 standard is based on the same plan-do-check-act (PDCA) structure as ISO 19001. The main elements of the standard are:

  1. Environmental Policy
  2. Planning
  3. Implementation & Operation
  4. Checking and Corrective Action
  5. Management Review

1. Establishing an Environmental Policy (Section 4.2)

Paragraph 4.2 requires top management of the company to define an environmental policy that is consistent with the scope of the EMS and appropriate to the organization. This environmental policy must include a commitment to continual improvement, prevention of pollution and compliance with legal requirements. The policy must provide a framework for setting and reviewing environmental objectives and targets. The environmental policy must be documented, communicated to all persons working for or on behalf of the organization and made available to the public.

2. Environmental Planning (Section 4.3)

Paragraph 4.3.1 requires that the company establish and maintain procedures to identify environmental aspects and determine those which may have significant environmental impacts. Environmental aspects are activities, products or services of the company which can interact with the environment (e.g. potential for accidental spillage, air exhaust emissions). Environmental impacts are environmental changes resulting from an organization’s aspects (e.g. contamination of soil or water from an accidental spill, air pollution). These aspects must be addressed within the EMS.

Paragraph 4.3.2 requires that the company establish and maintain a procedure to identify and provide access to the legal and other environmental requirements applicable to the company’s activities, products and services. The identified legal requirements must be addressed as an integral part of the EMS.

Paragraph 4.3.3 requires that the company establish and maintain documented environmental objectives and targets. These need to be specific, measurable and consistent with the company’s environmental policy. Environmental management programs must be established to accomplish these objectives and targets and include designation of responsibilities, means and time-frames for completion.

3. Implementation and Operation (Section 4.4)

Paragraph 4.4.1 requires that roles, responsibilities and authorities for environmental management system be defined. Top management of the company must appoint a specific environmental management representative who will report on the performance of the environmental management system and make recommendations for improvements. Management is also required to ensure the availability of the resources essential to the implementation, maintenance and improvement of the environmental management system.

Paragraph 4.4.2 requires that the company identify competency requirements and training needs and institute a program to make those working for the company aware of the environmental policy, environmental aspects and impacts, and employee’s individual roles and responsibilities for the EMS. Training records must be maintained.

Paragraph 4.4.3 requires that the company establish and maintain procedures for both internal and external communication regarding environmental issues.

Paragraph 4.4.4 requires that the company describe the main elements of its environmental management system and provide direction to related documentation. Documentation to ensure the effective planning, operation and control of processes related to significant environmental aspects is also required.

Paragraph 4.4.5 requires that the company establish and maintain procedures to control the creation, review, approval, modification, storage, availability and destruction of its EMS documentation – including documents of external origin.

Paragraph 4.4.6 requires that the company identify its operations and activities with significant environmental aspects. The company is required to establish and maintain documented procedures outlining how these activities will be conducted and stipulating operating criteria (control limits). Procedures must be established to communicate applicable requirements to suppliers and contractors.

Paragraph 4.4.7 requires that the company establish and maintain emergency preparedness and response procedures. These procedures are to be reviewed and revised when necessary and periodically tested where practicable.

4. Monitoring and Corrective Action (Section 4.5)

Paragraph 4.5.1 requires that the company establish procedures for monitoring and measuring the key characteristics of its operations and activities which may impact the environment. Records are to be kept which track the company’s performance in relation to its environmental objectives and targets. Any environmental monitoring equipment must be calibrated and maintained in accordance with established procedures. Calibration records must be retained.

Paragraph 4.5.2 requires that the company establish and maintain a procedure for periodically evaluating compliance with environmental laws and other legal requirements. Records must be kept of this compliance evaluation.

Paragraph 4.5.3 requires that the company establish and maintain procedures for taking corrective and preventative action to deal with identified nonconformities.

Paragraph 4.5.4 requires that the company establish and maintain procedures for the identification, storage, protection, retrieval, retention and disposal of environmental records. Environmental records must be maintained to demonstrate conformity with the EMS.

Paragraph 4.5.5 requires that the company establish and maintain an internal EMS audit program to determine whether the company’s environmental management system conforms to ISO 14001.

5. Management Review (Section 4.6)

Paragraph 4.6 requires top management of the company to review the environmental management system to ensure its continued suitability, adequacy and effectiveness. This management review must be documented and must address the need for changes to the EMS and assess opportunities for improvement.

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Five Steps to EMS Implementation and ISO 14001 Registration

ENLAR Compliance Services assists companies with all aspects of establishing an environmental management system - from understanding the requirements of ISO 14001:2004 to the on-going auditing of established EHS management systems.

Step 1 - Understand the ISO 14001:2004 Requirements Services ENLAR Provides for Step 1
Before you start, you need to understand what ISO 14001:2004 requires.
  • ENLAR Quick Guide to ISO 14001:2004 Transition
  • Introduction to ISO 14001 Training
  • Executive/Management Briefings on ISO 14001
Step 2 - Evaluate your Compliance Status and Organize Your Existing Documentation Services ENLAR Provides for Step 2
Before you begin making changes to your existing programs, it is importance that you identify your major compliance issues.

You also need to ensure that your existing records and documents are accessible and organized. You don't want to re-invent the wheel.

  • Regulatory Compliance Evaluation
  • Research on Complex Regulatory Determinations
  • Training Courses on Legal Compliance in an ISO 14001 Management System and How to Effectively Document your EMS
  • Assistance with Document and Record Management
Step 3 - Develop an ISO 14001 Implementation Plan Services ENLAR Provides for Step 3
Management system implementation goes more smoothly if you develop an implementation plan first. In order to develop this plan, you need to know were you are (the current programs and system you have in place), where you are going (the requirements you intend meeting) and the resources you have available to get there.
  • ISO 14001 Gap Assessment
  • ISO 14001 Registration Strategic Planning
  • Training Course on Implementing and Auditing an EMS
Step 4 - Revise your Existing Program Services ENLAR Provides for Step 4
Once you have developed your plan, you are ready to make the changes needed to your existing programs and procedures. This includes:
  • Identification of Aspects/Impacts
  • Employee Awareness Training
  • Developing EMS Documentation
  • Training Internal Auditors
  • ISO 14001 Registration Assistance
  • Environmental Aspects & Impacts Identification Workshop
  • Preparation of EMS Documentation
  • Training Courses on Implementing and Auditing an EMS, Internal Auditor Training, Employee Introduction to ISO 14001
Step 5 - Maintain Your Management System Services ENLAR Provides for Step 5
After you achieve ISO 14001 registration, you need to make sure your system keeps working and you are prepared for periodic surveillance audits. New employees need to be trained as do new internal auditors. You need to keep your identification of legal requirements up to date and conduct periodic compliance evaluations.
  • Periodic Regulatory Compliance Evaluations
  • Updating of Site-Specific Compliance Guidebooks
  • Out-Sourced Internal Audit Programs
  • Training Courses on Internal Auditor Training, Employee Introduction to ISO 14001

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