An environmental management system (EMS) is based around a structured framework and serves as a tool to improve the environmental performance of an organisation. It achieves this through various methods such as;
· Defining environmental responsibility for all staff
· Ensuring key operations have procedures that address and minimise risk
· Recording of environmental performance against set targets
· Identifying opportunities to reduce waste, including raw materials, utility waste and disposal costs
The main goals of any EMS is to, reduce an organisation’s environmental impact and ensure compliance around regulatory and legislative requirements.
Regulatory and legislative – is the act of reaching and maintaining legal standards. If the organisation is not compliant, this could stop them from operating through government intervention due to breaching certain laws and possibly fines.
Reduction of waste – to reduce the environmental impact of the organisation. The EMS helps to develop, implement, manage and monitor the environmental policies of the organisation. Waste reduction begins at the design phase through to the desired output. At the end of the lifecycle, it is positively encouraged to implement a recycling programme.
Maintaining a robust EMS also provides structure to set, monitor and measure environmental objectives. ISO 14001:2015 applies to all organisations, regardless of size, type and structure
Much in the same way that ISO 9001:2015 follows a Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle. The EMS incorporates this same process. This will allow the organisation to first develop and plan based on objective evidence, implement controls, monitor process and review successes. The model also allows for the checking and reporting/acting on the conformance of the system and any weaknesses in the EMS processes.
Sustainable development Goals
ISO 14001:2015 also contributes to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) that the UN set in 2015, which set out an ambitious15-year plan to address economic, environmental and societal issues globally.
8 out of 17 UN SDG’s directly linked to the focus of ISO14001. Such as those related to clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy, decent work and economic growth, industry, innovation and infrastructure, responsible consumption and production, climate action, life below water and life on land.
With regards to environmental matters, ISO 14001 can help the achievement of the SDG’s by;
· Protecting the environment through the prevention of pollution, sustainable resource use, climate change mitigation and adaptation and protection of ecosystems
· Continual improvement and focusing on improving environmental performance
· The lifecycle associated with product use and end of life treatment plans
· Focus on environmental management within the organisations strategic planning of processes and context
ISO 20121 – Sustainable event management
Alongside ISO 14001 and the UN’s mission for Sustainable development goals, ISO 20121 provides a framework to help organisations improve sustainability throughout the entire event management cycle. The framework helps identify potentially negative social, economic and environmental impacts of events. It will allow organisers to remove or reduce the negative impacts through improved planning and processes.
ISO 20121 also includes practical guidance on communications, operational planning and control, stakeholder identification and engagement, supply chain management and procurement and issue evaluation. ISO 20121 is suitable for all sizes and types of events.
By choosing AvISO to help implement both ISO 14001 and ISO20121 you will ensure that your organisation is conforming to the standard, are implementing SMART objectives, setting controls to mitigate against environmental risks and ultimately achieving certification to an accredited body.