Sunday, June 25, 2017
Tags Posts tagged with "EMS"

EMS

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    Key Performance Indicators for an ISO 14001 Management System

    Why Do You Need Performance Indicators for Your Environmental Management System?

    Performance Indicators are the measures that you put in place on your processes and business that provide you with the information that you need to see how well your ISO 14001 management system is performing. Each process could have a whole series of measures that will let you know how well it is performing financially, with regards to quality, H&S compliance and of course environmentally. After all, as the saying goes, “what gets measured gets done.”

    Each process could potentially have many different measures that are important to it. Many of these measures will be monitored, and action taken at a local level. While others that are more important could be elevated to being Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for the business. This ensures that those measures that are vital to your business or have a potential risk associated to them are highlighted.

     

    What Performance Indicators Do You Need for Your ISO 14001 Management System?

    Many businesses are used to implementing performance measures as part of their quality management system, however they are equally as important as part of your ISO 14001 management system. Your measures need to be selected with great care for each process within your business and only those that are truly important should be elevated as KPIs for management monitoring.

    Each business is of course different as are each of your processes. Therefore, your indicators and measures will always be different to those employed by other businesses. However, some typical measures are detailed below to give you some idea as to what you should implement within your own business:

    Use of Natural Resources:

    • Water, electricity, and gas usage by the business
    • The amount of paper used within the business

    Discharges to Air, Land, and Water:

    • Pollutant parts per million measures
    • Weight to landfill

    Incidents and Potential Incidents:

    • Number of actual and potential incidents
    • Time lost due to incidents

    Proactive Measures:

    • Risk reduction measures implemented
    • Environmental audit scores

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      Here are five key elements that will help organizations reach a successful ISO 14001 Environmental Management System (EMS):

      1. Employee Involvement

      The first key element for having a successful EMS is to achieve full participation of all employees, from top management to shop-floor workers. If people are not involved, every goal and target will require a lot more time and effort to be reached. Many believe that only a small group of people in an organization are responsible for the EMS but nothing is farther from the truth; the whole organization is responsible for the implementation, maintenance and improvement of the EMS.

      2. Regulatory Compliance

      One of the main objectives of an ISO 14001 EMS is for organizations to obtain regulatory compliance. Organizations need to use the EMS as a tool to effectively define and monitor applicable legal requirements and other requirements. By using the EMS as a tool for assuring regulatory compliance, an organization can better plan the expenses associated with permits, reporting and monitoring legal requirements, which will reduce the frequency and severity of violations and their associated costs.

      3. Higher Efficiency

      Organizations need to focus on improving the efficiency of their processes and not just on controlling environmental aspects after they have been generated. It’s essential to control and prevent contamination, but an ISO 14001 EMS needs to go beyond this point and focus on improving processes. For example, a higher level of administrative efficiency may reduce legal liabilities and shorter permitting procedures due to better relations with regulators and communities. A greater operational efficiency usually involves renewal of equipment or facilities, and an improved design of production processes that will result in a reduction of inputs (energy, water and other resources) and also a reduction of waste.

      4. Using the Right Performance Indicators

      Every organization is different and so are their environmental aspects and impacts. It is essential to define and use the performance indicators that will allow organizations to effectively monitor their performance and identify opportunities for improvement.

      5. Improving Customer Relations

      Organizations need to establish relationships based on trust and respect with regulatory bodies, communities and everyone that may affect their EMS. Good relationships with internal and external customers will contribute in the success of the ISO 14001 EMS.

      It is important to remember that every EMS is different and a continuous monitoring process is essential in determining the organization’s progress in meeting its goals and objectives.

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        Environmental Performance Indicators provide organizations with a tool for measuring, evaluating and controlling their performance. These quantifiable metrics reflect the performance of an organization in the context of achieving its environmental goals and objectives.

        They are also useful in illustrating environmental improvements, identifying market opportunities, providing essential data for environmental reports and statements, providing feedback to motivate members of the organization and to support the implementation of the ISO 14001 standard.

        However, not all performance indicators are useful to every organization. These must be identified and measured considering the nature and context of the organization and its specific targets and goals.

        Even though there’s not a set of performance indicators that is right for every ISO 14001 management system, there are performance indicators that can be commonly seen in many environmental performance indicator reports. Some of these are:

        Operational Performance Indicators

        These measure environmental impact caused by an organization’s main activities.

        Emissions to air

        • Greenhouse Gases
        • Acid Rain
        • Eutrophication and Smog Precursors
        • Dust and Particles
        • Ozone Depleting Substances
        • Volatile Organic Compounds
        • Metal emissions to air Emissions to water
        • Nutrients and Organic Pollutants
        • Metal emissions to water

        Emissions to land

        • Pesticides and Fertilisers
        • Metal emissions to land
        • Acids and Organic Pollutants
        • Waste (Landfill, Incinerated and Recycled)
        • Radioactive Waste

        Resource use

        • Water Use and Abstraction
        • Energy use (Natural Gas, Oil, Coal, other)
        • Minerals
        • Aggregates
        • Forestry

        Environmental Management Performance Indicators

        These reflect organizational actions management is taking to minimize their environmental impact. These indicators serve as internal control measures and information, but do not provide valid information on the real environmental performance of an organization. These performance indicators should not be used exclusively for the evaluation of environmental performance, but as a support in evaluating the actions taken within the environmental management system. Some of these are:

        • Number of sites that have environmental management systems
        • Number of ISO14001 certification
        • Number of training sessions regarding environmental preservation and of people attended
        • Number of environmental audits by kinds (internal and external environmental audits)

        Every organization is different and each one needs to carefully examine which environmental performance indicator suits it best. These indicators should summarize extensive environmental data to a limited number of significant key information points and ensure rapid assessment of the organization’s main improvements and weaknesses in environmental protection. This information should be comparable from year to year or period to period, allowing unfavorable trends to be quickly detected in order for timely actions to be taken to correct and improve the organisation’s environmental performance.