Environmental Management in a Time of Great Need

No one knows what is yet to come and how badly it can potentially be but it was a sure way for Mother Nature to communicate a clear message to humanity to wake up and stop being ignorant of what is at stake if we continually abuse the riches of the earth. And so to acknowledge and address this worsening situation, environmental management was created. It was actually created as early as the nineties but soared in popularity when the effects were so obvious in plain view.

Environmental management involves the process in which regulations are enforced to avoid damaging impacts to the environment as well as enforcing regulations that will be beneficial to the environment. Small business legal advice often includes guidance on these regulations. Organizations develop a management framework to help maintain environmental goals as the environment falls under every individuals responsibility.

As such ISO 14001 is the universally accepted standard in creating such a process and there are many ISO 14001 consultants that can help in business. This standard created by the International Organization for Standardization in implementing an Environmental Management System or EMS. It comes from a series 16 international ISO 14000 standards that serve as a framework to aid organizations in lessening the potential hazardous impact on the environment that can be integrated with other corporate processes to effectively achieve environmental and economic goals including the usage of natural resources, waste management and energy consumption. Though voluntary, organizations ultimately recognize it as a necessity. The beauty of ISO 14001 as a generic management system standard is that it can apply to any size and type of organization, no matter what type of product or service. It also applies to high to low risk service organizations alike as well as businesses in public and private sectors involved in manufacturing, process and service industries, while local governments are not excluded.

The basic principle of the ISO 14001 continual environmental improvement based on the Plan-Do-Check-Act system of Australia and New Zealand in 2004 that include 17 elements implemented in five phases which are environmental policy, planning, implementation and operation, checking & corrective action and lastly management review.

Plan, involves initial analysis of a company’s processes and products to effectively identify all elements of operation that may have an effect on the environment. The review aims to assist organization in making environmental objectives, goals and targets measurable and can identify legal requirements to be included in the process. Do is implementing the process itself. Check is identifying if the process has been a success while maintaining records to ensure that goals are achieved while aiming to ensure the consistent implementation of the process. Act is the process of altering procedures in place to improve results.

The benefits of implementing ISO 14001 does not merely address environmental concerns but also better compliance with legislative and regulatory law that diminishes the potential of being fined, better and more cost-efficient waste management, reduction in usage of resources as well as operating costs and being recognized internationally as an ISO 14001 compliant business for franchises over the world.

After having implemented the ISO 14001 environmental management system, businesses may have the option to undergo certification that involves evaluation of the EMS with a physical site visit from officials to see the standards were truly met. Once successful they are presented with certification that will be valid for three years. Various official boards and auditors all over the world can grant this.

Non-conformity to acquiring an EMS can be damaging to a company. It does not necessarily have to follow the standards of ISO 14001 yet following it can surely be advantageous. In fact, doing this in-house can be quite costly for a company due to a lack of experience and background. The best way to go about the matter is to hire an expert who can help reduce the cost. There are a number of established ISO 14001 consultants that can truly give you sound large or small business legal advice. An added advantage to hiring a consultant is that they already have an established network of bodies that help the certification process if not being an authorized body themselves. This also helps save on the legal costs one might procure in implementing EMS.

Integrated Management Systems – Advantages To Blend Quality, Ohs And Environmental Management System

The particular Integrated Management Systems (IMS) has grow to be a hot theme not just among manufacturing institutions but in addition among several service organizations for example construction. The primary reason for this trend is due to the increasing quantity of management systems or standards which are implemented globally. IMS requires the amalgamation of several individual management systems such as AS/NZS ISO 9001, AS/NZS ISO 14001, AS/NZS 4801 and many a lot more. Therefore, the main objective of an IMS would be to manage an organisation by way of a single harmonized management system as opposed to several management systems.

The idea of IMS became extremely relevant with all the introduction and implementation of ISO 14001 which envisaged integrated organizational approach (or systems approach) to environmental sustainability. In the same way, IMS has turn out to be much more crucial with all the introduction of many standards. As more and more management systems are obtainable today, it is crucial for any organization to perform towards a harmonized, easy and easily implementable IMS.

It is extremely most likely that any organization implementing AS/NZS ISO 14001 (or the environmental management program), has a quality management program (such asISO 9001) currently in spot. Nowadays, not merely clients but additionally regulatory authorities insist that the suppliers or service institutions (for example construction organisations) should implement AS/NZS ISO 9001 High quality Management Systems (QMS) although moving towards ISO 14001.

When a person pay attention to the AS/NZS ISO 9001, AS/NZS ISO 14001 and AS/NZS 4801 Occupational Health &Safety (OHS), he/she would find that all these systems have numerous common processes and procedures. Also, its important to note that there are no ISO standards for OHS. However, implementation OHS or adhering to OHS requirements in an organization may be easy if it has the QMS and EMS accreditation currently in place.

Why any organization aims for IMS ?

In order to hold on to or satisfy consumers, many businesses mandate its suppliers or service providers (for example construction contractors) developing and implementing their own high quality, OHS and environmental management systems.

To overcome trade barriers, several companies or construction companies (operating in global markets like USA, EU, and Australasia) adapt and implement ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 accreditations. Such accreditations not just enhance the image of any organization globally as top quality and environmentally conscious organization but additionally such an organization is readily accepted by customers in the global markets.

Cost lowering through lower insurance payments: – Numerous businesses that have implemented AS/NZS ISO 14001 and AS/NZS 4801 can be eligible for reduced Insurance premium offered by insurance companies. The organisations such as construction businesses which are running in highly risky and constantly changing function environment may be able to get appreciable benefit via IMS which comprised of AS/NZS ISO 9001, AS/NZS ISO 14001 and AS/NZS 4801.

It demonstrates not merely their commitment to quality and also its adherence to processes and procedures required for the safety of the workers at the work place including the environment.

To enhance the effectiveness of the QMS, EMS and OHS,
To demonstrate the sensitiveness to the environment and commitment to safety by doing the right thing at the first time, as described in ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and AS/NZS 4801.
To decrease the manufacturing and operating costs and enhance Return on Investment (ROI) by way of implementation of QMS, EMS and OHS

Besides above, any business can get a higher ROI through IMS which utilizes the advantage of similarities of ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and AS/NZS 4801. Also, it can reduce ambiguities and confusion amongst employees when implementing the QMS, EMS and OHS associated standards.

Current data show that numerous companies have successfully integrated partially or fully all the management systems. For example, automotive, electronics, steel, chemical and service (construction industry) industries have demonstrated the effectiveness of IMS through improved ROI. In essence, they were capable to lessen operating expenses, time required to implement the processes, complexity (or ambiguity) of the management systems, through IMS. Similarly, such companies were able to have higher employee satisfaction and moral by way of integrated or simplified strategy to defining perform instructions or job descriptions and tasks or performance standards.

There are several advantages could be derived through implementation of an IMS in an organization:

Since QMS, EMS and OHS has similarities, all three can be simply combined to have common organizational goals and objectives;
Can have a harmonized and simplified management program in the organization; in essence, workers or staff can be provided with one set of clear instructions as opposed to multiple instructions that can lead to confusion and conflicts. Therefore, much documentation and reporting on each program can be minimized.
The training of employees can be streamlined under single system rather than multiple training required under numerous systems.
Optimum use of resources resulting from maintaining a single process for all activities required under IMS. In other words, staff training, document control, management review, corrective and preventive actions need only less time and effort compared to implementing multiple management systems.
Can enhance organizational performance in terms of reduced customer complaints, product non-conformities, accident, well being and environmental related risks; similarly, it can reduce high quality related risks or issues as well.
It helps the organization to combine high quality, environmental and OHS objectives into the overarching corporate strategy.
It emphasise the top management and the staff at all levels to consider quality, environment and safety with equal priority.
It puts in location a broad agenda for continual improvement of high quality, environmental and OHS systems.

In summing up, one can conclude that Integrated Management Program will allow any construction organization (or any other) to combine top quality (AS/NZS ISO 9001), Environment (AS/NZS ISO14001) and Wellness and Safety (AS/NZS 4801) into a single management program. It will not only make the organization effective in terms of compliance on quality, environmental and wellness & safety but also be able to improve its efficiency and productivity resulting in higher ROI.