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iso 14001

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Are your Business Management Systems still operating in Silos?

If so then you may want to think about adopting a more integrated approach…

Steve Tyler, CEO & Founder of BusinessDocsOnline


Working in Silos?

There comes a point in the development of many organisations when they need to obtain some form of certification, and for the majority they will probably implement a management system for either Quality or Health & Safety.

There then follows a period of time where their requirements for certification will be covered with a single management system.

However, once an organisation grows to a point where it requires more than one management system, then that is the time for top management to step back and consider adopting a more integrated approach.

Yet too many organisations miss this opportunity and implement their management systems as stand-alone platforms.  They then end up with individual management systems being used in silos.

For some organisations, working in silos may be the most suitable way to function, and there may be operational reasons why this approach works best for them.

But working in silos also has a downside…

Silo Mentality (as defined by the Business Dictionary):

“a mind-set present when certain departments or sectors do not wish to share information with others in the same company.  This type of mentality will reduce efficiency in the overall operation, reduce moral, and may contribute to the demise of a productive company culture.”
Whilst an integrated management system may not work for every organisation, for many the long-term benefits will far outweigh the short-term effort required to move forward.

So why not integrate your management systems and eliminate all the inefficiencies and duplication of activities that are part and parcel of having individual systems and working in silos?

But how easy is this to achieve?

The PDCA Cycle: – Plan – Do – Check – Act

With the latest release of ISO 9001:2015, this revised standard aims to further develop the “Risk Based Thinking” approach within an organisations.  It also brings two other aspects into the management system arena that are going to re-define the future of management systems.  One of these is Annex SL and the other is the PDCA cycle.

Lets come back to Annex SL later, and deal with the PDCA cycle first.  Within ISO 9001:2015 this functions as follows:

Plan

Top Management must assess the risks & opportunities that may impact on the organisation and carry out the planning required to ensure these risks do not affect the organisations ability to deliver its “desired outputs”.  Exploiting any opportunities that have been identified must also be planned.

Do

Process activities must be carried out in such a way as to ensure they are aligned with the outputs of the planning processes.

Check

Top Management must review & measure the organisations performance against their objectives.

Act

Top Management must also plan & implement any actions that will deliver continual improvement.

Whilst the “desired outputs” of each organisation are quite unique, one way or another they all lead back to Customer Satisfaction.  Once Customer Satisfaction can be monitored, it can be measured.  And as the saying goes – “What gets measured gets done….”

So we can see how the PDCA cycle works for a Quality Management System, but this is really just the tip of the iceberg.

This PDCA cycle can now be applied to just about every other ISO standard, including Health & Safety [45001]*, Environmental [14001:2015] and Information Security Management [27001], and every system you implement can follow the same structure.

The net result here is that it is now possible to implement an integrated management system that combines Quality, Environmental, Health & Safety and Information Security.

But can they be that much more effective if they are integrated?

The Benefits of Integrated Management Systems

Once an organisation has decided to integrate their management systems then it’s at this point they can start to see the real benefits.

Organisations that have already implemented a single management system based around the PDCA cycle will find it up to 50% quicker when they come to implement their next management system.

The PDCA Cycle means it is possible to integrate your management systems into one platform, and organisations can now implement a single solution that controls all of the following:

  • Risks & Opportunities for Product & Services
  • Customer Requirements & Satisfaction
  • Environmental Impacts
  • Health & Safety Hazards
  • Information Security Integrity

With this integrated approach, much of what is needed from the management team can now be done under one umbrella, and top management can now take a broader view of their organisation whilst undertaking the following activities:-

  • Planning
  • Assessments of Risk & Opportunities
  • Internal Audits
  • Management Reviews
  • Continual Improvement

The end result is that:

  • The organisation can now be managed using joined-up thinking.
  • Auditing models can be revised to provide a much broader remit, but with fewer audits.
  • KPI’s & SMART objectives can now become more aligned.

But just how well are all the different standards able to interact, and how easy is it to implement a single integrated platform across 2, 3 or 4 different management systems?

That’s where Annex SL comes in…

What is Annex SL?

Annex SL is an ISO document that defines a high level structure [HSL] for the framework of a generic management system.

It was first published by ISO’s Technical Management Board (TMB) in 2012 and the recent release of ISO 9001:2015 has been revised to align with Annex SL.

Annex SL has arrived with a vengeance with the latest version of ISO 9001:2015, and is now here to stay.

In the future, all new ISO management system standards will adhere to the Annex SL framework and all current management system standards will migrate to it at their next revision.

As a result of the introduction of Annex SL, all ISO management system standards will become more consistent, and hence more compatible.  They will share the same look and feel, having been built on a common foundation.  The structure of all management systems will now include the following sections:

  • Context of the Organisation
  • Leadership
  • Planning
  • Support
  • Operation
  • Performance Evaluation
  • Improvement

There are common core definitions too; the following words will have the same interpretations across all Annex SL standards:

  • organisation
  • interested party (preferred term)
  • stakeholder (admitted term)
  • requirement
  • management system
  • top management
  • effectiveness
  • policy
  • objective
  • risk
  • competence
  • documented information

  • process
  • performance
  • outsource (verb)
  • monitoring
  • measurement
  • audit
  • conformity
  • nonconformity
  • correction
  • corrective action
  • continual improvement

Annex SL represents the beginning of the end of the conflicts, duplication, confusion and misunderstanding arising from subtly different requirements across the various management system standards.

Auditors now face the challenge of focusing their own, and their clients’, thinking on viewing organisations’ management systems holistically.


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What Does Schedule 16 of Bill 70 Really Mean for Companies in Ontario?

On the 8th of December in 2016 Schedule 16 of Bill 70, the Building Ontario Up for Everyone Act (Budget Measures), 2016, gained royal assent and its amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Act came into effect:

Schedule 16 – Occupational Health and Safety Act – says:

“The Schedule amends the Occupational Health and Safety Act to give the Chief Prevention Officer the power to accredit health and safety management systems, and to give recognition to employers who use accredited health and safety management systems. The Chief Prevention Officer may also establish standards and criteria that must be met by health and safety management systems or employers in order to receive accreditation or recognition. Related amendments are also made.”

What Schedule 16 Means

What this means in a nutshell is that once the CPO (Chief Prevention Officer) has defined the requirements through bill 70 for an accredited health and safety management system, companies could then become certified to that system. Certified companies that are then able to demonstrate their commitment to using a coordinated system to improve their OHAS would then be able to benefit from things such as reduced routine inspections through the MOL.

In addition, the CPO will need to put in place a system that will recognize and incentivize companies to become certified. Details of those companies and their performance can then be made publicly available through the CPO.

Currently the CPO has not yet released any standards for accredited health and safety management systems and has said that they will be holding an “extensive consultation” to develop an “accreditation standard and employer recognition program”. Until the CPO actually defines the standards for accredited health and safety systems, the changes implemented by this act will have no real effect on anyone.



ISO 45001 as a Framework for OHS Standards in Ontario

Of course, an accredited standard is currently on the verge of being released should the CPO want to use the framework provided by ISO. The new standard ISO 45001 Occupational health and safety management system – requirements will follow a similar framework to that of ISO 9001 and 14001 giving companies an accredited standard against which they can be certified by a third party. This new worldwide standard will become available hopefully towards the end of 2017.

Assuming that this will meet the expectations of the CPO and interested parties then this would be a perfect way for companies to start putting in place processes, procedures, and other measures to drive continuous improvement in occupational health and safety.

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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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ISO Implementation Process

Preparing for an ISO implementation process of any ISO standard can be overwhelming and frightening for many. How an organization prepares for implementation will depend on factors such as size and complexity of its processes, the current knowledge and culture related to the standard (quality, environmental, safety, etc), the maturity of any other existing systems related to the standard wishing to implement, and many others. Despite the differences there may be between organizations, there are a few tips that will facilitate the implementation process of any management system, these are:

Know the standard.

It is essential that some personnel knows the management system’s requirements. Everyone does not need to be an expert on the requirements of the specific standard that will be implemented, but key workers need to fully know and understand all of the requirements of the standard.

Inform everyone what is going on.

The implementation process is not a task of just a few chosen ones. Everyone needs to be involved in this process. Every worker needs to know what is being implemented, why is it being implemented, which are the benefits for the organization and for themselves, and how they will be involved in the process. When people are informed, they will be more open and willing to collaborate in the implementation.

Analyze the organization’s current situation.

Before starting to implement any ISO management system, an organization needs to know its level of compliance with the standard. This will allow the organization to understand beforehand its strengths and weaknesses regarding the ISO management system wishing to implement and estimate the time needed for implementation.

Map your processes.

Establish and record current processes in order to know the relationships between departments and how the processes flow within the organization. This will allow organizations to plan their implementation by processes and not just by areas and departments.

Review existing procedures and work instructions.

Many processes need written and documented information that will guarantee that activities are carried out in the correct manner. Organizations need to review which processes are documented and how many work instructions there are. It is not the same to develop a few documents and just review work instructions than to develop them from scratch. Organizations need to have an idea of how much time they will have to invest in developing and reviewing documents.

Review current training programs.

Evaluate existing training and awareness programs. Training and awareness are an important part in the implementation process and if an organization has not considered training its workers, it would be best to redefine these programs to make sure that a large percentage of workers are trained and informed about policies, procedures, regulations, etc that will be a part of their daily activities.

These are some recommendations that will help organizations prepare for the implementation process of any ISO management system. The most important aspect to keep in mind is to make sure that the whole organization is working for the same objectives and pulling in the same direction.

 

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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.

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Since the 1960s, HACCP has been recognized internationally as a logical tool for adapting traditional inspection methods to a modern, science-based, food safety system.
Since the 1960s, HACCP has been recognized internationally as a logical tool for adapting traditional inspection methods to a modern, science-based, food safety system.

ISO 14001 is under review. After its original publication in 1996, this is the first time it’s going through major changes. The review process is currently at the Draft International Standard (DIS) stage, the fourth stage of a six stage process, and  the final revised ISO 14001:2015 is due to be published by the end of 2015. Some of the main changes ISO 14001:2004 is undergoing are:

  1. The first change to ISO 14001:2004 concerns its structure. This revision is based on the ISO Guide 83 (“Annex SL”) which defines a common high level structure, text and common terms and definitions for the next generation of management systems. This structure aims to facilitate the implementation process and the integration of several management systems in a harmonized, structured and efficient manner. Such structure is as follow:
    1. Scope
    2. Normative References
    3. Terms and Definitions
    4. Context of the Organization
    5. Leadership
    6. Planning
    7. Support
    8. Operation
    9. Performance Evaluation
    10. Improvement
  2. New concepts have been added, such as “supply chain”, “value chain” and “product life cycle” and existing definitions have been modified to give a different emphasis and to improve clarity.
  3. Two new clauses have been introduced which focuses on an organization’s context. These require organizations to determine the issues and requirements that can influence the scope of its EMS and take them into account.
  4. There’s a greater emphasis on top management, requiring them to take the lead in integrating the environmental management practices into their organization’s core strategies, processes, and priorities.
  5. Regarding environmental policy, organization should be committed to protecting the environment rather than just preventing its pollution, as stated in ISO 14001:2004.
  6. A greater emphasis is placed on an organization determining its own risk profile.
  7. Organizations are required to control or influence processes and services associated with significant environmental aspects, organizational risks, lifecycle and emergency preparedness.
  8. There is a greater focus on environmental performance improvement across the value chain.
  9. The DIS does not include specific requirements for preventive action. The new standard no longer thinks of preventive measures as a separate topic, but rather as a central component of all environmental-related activities.
  10. Environmental objectives have been given a separate sub-clause with the “planning actions to achieve environmental objectives.”
  11. The terms “document” and “record” have both been replaced throughout the DIS with the term “documented information”. The DIS states that documented information must be maintained to the extent necessary to have confidence that the processes have been carried out as planned.

It is important to mention that this standard is still under review, and there is still to see which changes will make it to the final revision. However, it’s clear that the overall goal of ISO 14001:2015 is to respond to the latest environmental trends, help organizations improve their environmental performance and prepare them for future environmental challenges.