To become ISO 14001-certified, you must identify the environmental aspects of your facility’s activities, products, and services within the defined scope of the EMS. Determine those that you can control and those that you can influence, taking into account planned or new developments or new or modified activities, products, and services. Then, you must determine which of those aspects have a significant impact, and ensure that your facility’s objectives and targets include these impacts. The environmental aspects information must be kept up-to-date. You must identify and track all applicable environmental legal requirements.
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Since ISO 14001 requires you to develop environmental objectives and targets to address significant aspects, compiling a systematic and comprehensive matrix of aspects and a means of assigning priorities is an essential first step toward achieving this goal.
Note. “A significant environmental aspect is an environmental aspect that has or can have a significant environmental impact.”
All of your organization’s activities, products, and/or services must be included within the environmental aspects review framework—which includes all of your chemicals. You must assemble a listing of potential environmental aspects, as well as include the effect of nonroutine situations in the listing such as emergency conditions, startup, and shutdown activities.
You should develop a risk-based matrix that evaluates and ranks all aspects. There is no formal matrix format for listing aspects under the ISO 14001 standard. However, the U.S. Department of Energy does have a chemical compatibility matrix and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has a chemical reactivity worksheet that you may find useful in developing a risk-based matrix.
Environmental Management Systems Under New ISO 14001: How to Ensure Compliance
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the organization that oversees ISO 14001, recently released the “Committee Draft” changes to ISO 14001 that will occur this year. Learn more.
ISO 14001 revision
ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems is under review, with the final updated version expected by September 2015.