ISO 14000- ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
Section 1 - EMS - Need, Scope and Benefits
Environment is defined as 'surroundings in which an Organisation operates including air, water, land, natural resources, flora, fauna, humans and their interrelation.' Surroundings in this context extend from within individual households to organisations and then to the entire global system. Keeping the environment fit for living is the duty of every citizen and Organisation, because a clean environment enhances the 'quality of life' of all species on the earth.There is an increasing awareness by individuals and organisations to achieve and demonstrate sound environmental performance by controlling the impact of their activities on the environment.
1.2.0 Causes of environmental degradation
There are many causes that have contributed for the degradation in the environment. Some of them are population increase, ozone depletion, global warming, air pollution, water pollution and ecosystem disturbance.
1.2.1 Population increase
The World population is increasing rapidly. Current population is around 6 billion and will increase to 12 to 15 billion by year 2100. There will be great demands on resources such as space, water and food. There will be serious pollution problems as a result of population growth.
1.2.2 Ozone depletion
CFC's and other gases are responsible for attacking and reducing the thin layer of high-level of ozone 15 km up in the troposphere. Ozone, the three atom form of oxygen is destroyed by the CFC's and other similar chemicals which release chlorine when exposed to sun light. The chlorine then attacks the ozone converting it into oxygen. During turbulence at this height the ozone thins out, creating a hole which allows ultra violet light from the sun to the surface of the earth.Ultra violet radiation has widespread effects on human health, crops, photo synthesis and ecosystems.
1.2.3 Global Warming
The mean temperature on the earth over the past 140 years has gone up by about 0.5 degrees Celsius. The green house gases that contribute to the global warming are as follows:
1.2.4 Air Pollution
Air pollution is caused by several factors. Some of the major causes of air pollution are - smog, emissions from vehicle exhausts, release of hydrocarbons from industries.Nitrogen dioxide, Carbon monoxide, solvents and complex hydrocarbons cause air pollution. Many different concerns manifest themselves as 'acid rain'. Acid rain, particularly caused by sulfurdioxide causes extensive damage to ecosystems.Low level ozone generation from the release of hydrocarbons from industry and vehicles is a problem, particularly during summer when sunlight creates a photochemical smog. Air pollution is cause for many disorders like asthma, bronchitis, eye infections and headaches.
1.2.5 Water Pollution
Water pollution is caused by nitrates from agricultural operations, discharges from factories either directly or through water treatment plants, sewage discharges, spillage of chemicals, run-off from mining and quarrying operations and ground water contamination due to landfill sites. Classification scheme for river and canal water is as follows:
1.2.6 Ecosystem Degradation
In pursuit of industrialisation, large scale destruction of geographical regions is causing massive degradation of the ecosystem. Inadequate planning and poor management of the resources are resulting in destruction of rain forests and upland regions. Exploitation of forests for wood (as industrial raw material, fuel and construction material), mineral extraction and construction of dams for irrigation and power generation are creating imbalance in the ecosystem.
1.3.0 Environmental concerns
Managements of Business organisations are under constant pressure from various groups like Legislation, Customers, Markets, Insurance, Public and Media to achieve and demonstrate sound environmental performance.
Organisations need to adhere to the statutory and regulatory requirements applicable to the country to be in business. There is no equal pressure in all the countries. In developed and advanced countries, the legislation for protection of environment has become a high priority. Environmental regulatory bodies, like the Pollution Control Board play, a significant role in the implementation and monitoring of the legislative requirements.
Individual customers and corporate customers would like to purchase products from manufacturers who are committed to environmental protection. Eco-Label award or certification to ISO 14000 EMS standards provides confidence to the customers that the suppliers are committed to environmental protection and improvement.
1.3.3 Market Trends
Environmental issues have influenced the consumption patterns of many products. Manufacturers need to study the market trends to prepare the business plans. Some examples of this changing trend are
� Usage pattern of
pesticides, refrigerants and solvents
� Reduction in the use of solvents due to water based alternatives
� Alternatives to wood being developed
� Usage of sodium hexafluoride as insulating gas under threat
Insurance companies are creating pressure on the industry to institute an EMS by providing tailored insurance policies than general policies. Pollution liability is restricted to sudden and accidental and no cover for gradual pollution incidents.
* Sudden and accidental
-Bhopal, Chernobyl etc.,
* Gradual - Disposal of toxic waste by burial
- Leakage of pipes, tanks or pits
- Discharge into streams or rivers
- Release of fumes into atmosphere
1.3.5 Public and Media
Public consisting of local residents, organisation's workforce, investors and insurers, customers and environmental interest groups like Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth are creating awareness on environmental issues. Wide usage of the Internet and government regulations will lead organisations to provide information on the environmental performance.
1.4.0 Environmental Management Systems - Need
Organisations of all kinds are increasingly concerned to achieve and demonstrate sound environmental performance by controlling the impact of their activities, products and services on the environment taking into consideration their environmental policy and objectives. The Environmental Management System of an organisation is expected to meet the following needs:
* Meet the
regulatory, and legislative requirements.
* Improve the control of the environmental impact.
* Provide confidence to the customers that the products and services are manufactured with the aim of reducing the negative impact on the environment.
* Suitably accommodate changing market trends and gain competitive edge.
* Reduce the costs associated with environmental liabilities and Insurance.
* Gain public and media support.
1.5.0 Environmental Management Systems - Scope
The Environmental Management System enables an Organisation to formulate policy and objectives taking into consideration legislative requirements and significant environmental impacts and specifies the environmental performance criteria. The scope of the Environmental Management System of an orgnisation consists of :
* Implement. maintain
and improve EMS.
* Conformance to the stated policies and objectives.
* Demonstrate conformance to the EMS through certification.
Environment Management System of an organisation shall consider the following issues:
* Improvement to the
Quality of life
* Benefits to society
* Commitment to the future generations
* Minimisation of environment risk
* Prevention of pollution
* Environment care and continuous improvements
* Save resources
1.6.0 Environmental Management Systems - Benefits
Environmental Management System benefits the organisation as well as the society. Significant benefits of the EMS are
* Assurance of policy implementation.
- Forces organisations to link
policy to objectives and targets.
- Policy linked to operations and activities.
- Management involvement.
- Compliance with the regulatory requirements.
- Continuous environmental improvement.
- Spot and correct potential problems.
* Technology tie-ups.
- Multi-national companies (MNCs) would like to provide technology to companies which have implemented EMS.
* Benefits to stakeholders-employees, customers, society, government and interested parties.
* Reduction in costs.
- Reduction in expenditure on raw
- Savings from waste reduction or elimination.
- Decrease in costs of waste disposal.
- Reduction of insurance costs and elimination of penalties.
* Improved public perception and image.
Section - 3 Architecture of ISO 14000 - EMS
3.1.0 Evolution of ISO 14000 Standards
In 1990, Business Charter for Sustainable Development (BCSD), an organisation of fifty business leaders with interest in environment and development' issues was created for environment protection with the premise that economic development can take place only in an healthy environment. International organisation for Standardisation (ISO) created a Strategic Advisory Group on Environment (SAGE) to assess the need for an International Standard on Environment Management System. SAGE was replaced by the Technical Committee TC 207 of ISO. Sub Committee (SC-1) of TC 207 prepared the draft EMS Standard based on BS 7750.The outcome of the early development was presented at the 'Earth Summit' in Rio de Janeiro. Further meetings of SC-1 were held in Paris (January, 1994) and Toronto (March 1994). Draft of the standard was agreed in Oslo (June- 1995).
3.2.0 ISO 14000 series architecture
The series consists of five clusters:
* Environmental Auditing
* Environmental Labeling
* Environmental Performance Evaluation
* Life Cycle Assessment
The Standards are of two types
* Normative standards
providing requirements that must be met and can be audited for
* Informative standards providing guidance only. These requirements need not be audited for certification.
In the 14000 series of standards,
ISO 14001 (Environmental Management systems - specification with guidance
for use) is the only normative standard and all other standards are
informative standards intended to support the implementation of
3.3.0 Salient features of ISO 14001 Standard
Some important features and principles of ISO 14001 Standard are:
* The overall aim of
the standard is to support environmental protection and prevention of
pollution in balance with socio-economic needs
* The specification contains only those requirements that may be objectively audited for the purposes of certification.
* The standard does not establish absolute performance requirements beyond commitment in policy, conformance with applicable legislation and regulations and to continued improvement.
* The system does not guarantee 'optimal environment outcomes', but this can be encouraged by implementing Best Available Technology where appropriate.
* The standard does not address Health & Safety Management, but does not discourage integration of these elements. Certification however will only be applicable to the EMS process.
While Quality Management System (QMS) deals with customer needs EMS addresses the needs of a broad range of interested parties and the evolving needs of society for environmental protection.
3.4.0 EMS Model for ISO 14001
The model consists of the following sequence of steps:
c. Implementation and operation.
d. Checking and corrective action.
e. Management Review.
f. Continual improvement.
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