Regardless of the size and sector, every business has certain environmental impacts. It is not possible to eliminate the impact. However, as an entrepreneur or the senior manager, it is your responsibility to make sure that your organization is efficiently managing the impact and minimizing them where possible. Australia belongs to the group of well-developed countries. With the advancement of technology and the industrial revolution, environmental issues are emerging as a great challenge to the businesses in Australia. Perhaps this is the reason why ISO 14001 Standard has gained immense popularity in this country. This standard offers the framework of the environmental management systems or EMS. This kind of systems intends to control an organization’s environmental impact and preserve environmental sustainability.
This blog has figured out five steps (based on the ISO 14001 Standard) that can lead you to the successful implementation of an EMS. Before delving into these steps, let’s have a quick glimpse of certain basics about EMS.
An EMS provides the businesses with a systematic and channelized way of planning and implementation of environmental protection measures. Key benefits of an ISO 14001 certified EMS are:
• Energized operational efficiencies
• Cost savings
• Increasing customer satisfaction
• Boosted sales funnel
• Competitive advantages
• Impressive brand image
These days, many Australian businesses are inclining towards sustainability. It implies that these businesses are more likely to take responsibilities for their environmental and social performance along with their economic interests. In this context, it is important to note that an EMS helps an organization not only to enhance the environmental performances but also help you address the environmental hazards that may cause health and safety issues to your staffs. Some businesses are adopting an integration of ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 Standard to make compliance with both of these two standards easy.
Now, let’ head towards our main discussion- five steps that can lead you to a successful implementation of EMS
1. Environmental Policy
In this step, you should determine the environmental policy. It should reflect the commitment from the top management of supporting the resources and time while making any decision or implementing any change. Your policy must include three key elements. These key elements are-
• Commitment to pollution prevention
• Commitment to maintaining continuous improvement
• Commitment to the Compliance with environmental regulations
In the second step, you should identify the environmental impacts of your business. Look at every area that might have an impact on the environment, such as manufacturing process, services, and processes. You might be thinking how to identify the areas and the impacts. Well, you can try these tricks:
• List all of your business activities
• List all the possible impacts (both negative and positive)
• Talk to your staffs
• Inspect your workplace with experts
• Review everything from records, incident reports to complaints
3. Implementation and Operation
In the third step, you need to make a plan to implement the actions required for the Environmental Management Systems. You maintain a hierarchy of control-
• Personal Protective Equipment
4. Corrective Action
In this step, you should prepare a corrective action report based on
• The details of non-conformance
• Environmental information and impact
• Description and analysis of non-conformance
5. Review and Continuous Improvement
In this final step, you need to review the entire EMS to ensure that everything is fine. If you detect any defect, you should immediately address it. It will help you maintain the EMS and ensure the continuous improvement.
After successful implementation of your EMS, you will realize the benefits of this management system. It will enrich your business from different angles (environmental, social, and economical). This way you can enjoy the blessings of ISO 14001 Environmental Management System like many other Australian businesses.