ISO 14001:2015 (Environmental Management system) – A tool for managing Environmental Performance

Preface

Managing a system in an effective way is a thorny knack. And when it comes to Environmental Management System, an organisation needs to be systematic in planning the same. Environmental Management System in short is a crucial system that manages an organisation’s various environmental programs that give way to an eminent organisational structure and appropriate resources that ensure a fine policy that is developed, implemented and maintained for environmental protection.

 

Factors Influencing Environmental Management System

In this milieu, Mining Industries seek for an adhesive Environmental Management System that guarantees environmental sustainability in the first place. Mining industries look to track the following factors with an effective EMS:

  1. Water Pollution/Acid Mine Drainage
  2. Air Pollution
  3. Land Disturbance

Not only is tracking, a full-bodied Environmental Management System can also help Mining Industries to both reclaim/restore a mine to its original state from any condition. This short write up will take you into the Operational Efficiencies you can top up with the help of ISO 14001:2015 which hence make you compliant with the government regulations.

Many a company is antagonistic in the advantages that one obtains with an ISO 14001:2015 Certification. In reality, ISO 14001:2015 is not just a certification; it is a tool that enables Living Management System that enhances the operation of every industry to a great level.

With an ISO 14001:2015 Certification, you can do much more than just mapping and staying compliant with the regulations you have documented. With the usual processes you implement you could miss the minor non-compliances, which might later hit as non-compliance and lead to penalising too.

 

ISO 14001 For Operational Efficiencies

ISO 14001:20015 stands as a comprehensive yet robust standard that assists you in documenting all the activities and identifying the risks so as to help designing the best mitigating plans and practices. These plans and practices help you face issues exactly the way it is documented in the papers; go beyond the audits of ISO 14001 and thus rally around operational efficiencies. This could be made by a simple and truthful planning, implementing, measuring and refining all processes so as to gain the substantial Operational Efficiencies. Such an intended standard will obviously result in a more than expected cost diminution, a careful cutback in time consumed and an exceptional responsiveness to the external environment.

Mining companies, in addition to the above-mentioned assistance, can also measure Carbon Footprint Plan:

  • Using the Best Practices of ISO 14064 – GHG Inventory and Management
  • B- By developing Simple Assessment Tools that take into account all the activities that contribute to the GHG Emissions and thus calculate the Carbon Footprint

The main focus of ISO 14001:2015 is to meet the expectations of industries in setting the right standards that ensure environmental protection despite the dust and chemicals that are put into contact to the surroundings. Companies necessitate having standards that communicate internally so that everyone abides by the same.

When it comes to Mining industry, the potential chances and quantity of dust and chemicals exposed to the environment when the ore is transported from the mine site to the port site is huge. Anticipating this, following enhanced processes that make the public realise an adequate cleaning plan is in place becomes quite significant. Properly planned and rightly set standards help companies to be compliant in clearing out and overhauling the roads; and also pour cleaning chemicals that keep the roads clean. This approach not only promises environment protection, but also upholds your grade when a complaint is posed to you proposing your company as an environmental threat.

 

Environmental Control Systems

Environmental Management precisely draws out a picture of all the environmental aspects that have led and will lead to poisonous emissions to the environment. With the figured out issues that are liable to the environment, you can frame the key indicators that contain mitigation or control systems in place which tracks all your actions that affects the environment either in a small level or to a great extent. In addition, action plans that mitigate risks time to time will help you remediate the miss outs due to your daily busy agenda.

A few Action Plans that can be added in your checklist can be:

  • Making confirmatory Rehabilitation and Reforestation processes that replace the used resources in some way to the environment.
  • Reducing Air Pollution and Ensuring Noise Reduction can be made uncomplicated by gauging the pollution level due to the Mining activities and ensuring that the regulatory requirements are met rightly.
  • Monitoring Water Quality in order to make certain that the quality of water is within the recommended standards. With the help of ISO 14001, you can enable many such assessments on a sensible basis that help you to analyze the issues and impacts and thereby keep a track of records from the past and learn to make right implementations in future. ISO 14001:2015 will be effective only when we align the targets to the environmental aspects in order to obtain maximum business results and increase a company’s potential for environmental management.

 

Metrics Matter

A complete metrics and well-planned checklist on:

  • Number of communities
  • Number of people
  • Length of road
  • Index of pollution
  • Complaints Database
  • Stakeholder Community -can help you enhance your compliance policies up to date.

These metrics also pave way for assessment surveys, road monitoring processes and re-cleaning operations that showcase your industry in the high set as you have foreseen. Via this, you can make firm KPI’s of your own that helps you in making continuous improvements to astutely save money, effort and time – every time!

The consequence of having an ISO 14001:2015 as a part of your business year on year eliminates negative impacts that you project to happen without such a standard not put forward into action. When you give discernment to the public that you have implemented actions to ensure a sustainable environment that is when you have succeeded in having an EMS inside your organisation. By making the employees realise that giving back to the environment what is taken from it as a life-size target we can turn out to be an efficient organisation.

 

Benefits of ISO 14001

  • Making it more straightforward, the business benefits that can come out of implementing a robust ISO 14001 system:
  • Perk up your brand reputation by presenting your employees’ commitment towards environmental protection
  • Design a Standard process management that helps your company march towards an effective environmental management
  • Engage employees in such a way that they take up your business initiatives as their own responsibilities to support your initiatives
  • Meet and Match customer/regulatory requirements that leave them satisfied out of your endeavors end of the day
  • Play a part in the reducing the Global Issues that are to be blamed for acute Climatic changes the world is facing today
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ISO 9001:2015 – Shifting Gears in the New Quality Management Standard

Moving from ISO 9001:2008 to ISO 9001:2015

ISO 9001 is a standard designed for organizations looking to optimize their operational excellence. It helps businesses and organizations to be more efficient and improve customer satisfaction. A new version of the standard, ISO 9001:2015, has just been launched, taking over the previous version.

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ISO standards are reviewed every five years and revised if needed to ensure that it maintains its significance in today’s market place. This revision will also serve to bring ISO 9001 up to relevancy with regard to both challenges and opportunities that arise from changing technologies, globalization, and a reinforcement of a risk based approach, as well as structuring the standard to deal with future changes.

What are the Major Differences?

The new ISO 9001 standard aligns with high-level organizational structure, requiring all new ISO management system standards to be aligned on a high-level structure with a set of common requirements. Additionally, there is a greater emphasis on risk-based thinking as a basis for the management system, more focus on achieving value for the company and its customers, increased flexibility regarding use of documentation, and a more approachable structure for service businesses.

There are 10 clauses within the standard and here are the changes clause by clause:

Clause 1 is very similar to the 2008 version covering the scope of the standard and there has been very little change to this clause.

Clauses 2 and 3 cover normative references and term and definitions, both these clauses reference ISO 9000, Quality Management System – Fundamental and vocabulary which provides valuable guidance.

The remainder of the clauses includes some new key elements which need to be considered when implementing the new standard.

Clause 4: Context of the Organization

This is a new clause that in part addresses the depreciated concept of preventive action and in part establishes the context for the QMS.

Clause 5: Leadership

This clause places requirements on top management to demonstrate commitment to the QMS through taking accountability for the effectiveness of the QMS, establishing policies, objectives and promotion of continual improvement.

Clause 6: Planning

When planning the QMS, the organization will need to consider the external and internal issues along with needs and expectations of interested parties.

Clause 7: Support

The organization shall determine and provide the necessary resources to establish, implement, maintain and continually improve the QMS.

Clause 8:  Operation

This clause deals with the execution of the plans and processes that enables organization to meet their quality policy and quality objectives.

Clause 9:  Performance Evaluation

This clause sublimates all requirements for monitoring and measurement related to quality performance and effectiveness of their QMS.

Clause 10:  Improvement

The organization must determine the opportunities for improvement to continually improve the organization’s QMS.

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Impact of the New Standard

ISO 9001:2015 is now taking off to replace ISO 9001:2008. Organizations who are already ISO 9001 certified should begin tracking their progress of the revision process and familiarize themselves with the various changes made. To maintain your certification to ISO 9001, you will need to upgrade your quality management system to the new edition of the standard and seek certification to it. You have a three-year transition period from the date of publication (September 2015) to move to the 2015 version. This means that, after the end of September 2018, a certificate to ISO 9001:2008 will no longer be valid.

According to the International Accreditation Forum (IAF), there are a number of recommended actions that organizations can take to successfully transition to the new requirements of ISO 9001:2015. These include:

  • Conduct a gap analysis

Identifying the gaps between current practices and the new requirements is the most effective way to evaluate the changes that are required in your current QMS.

  • Develop an implementation plan and timetable

A formal implementation plan and schedule will help your organization address the required changes within the anticipated three-year transition period.

  • Provide appropriate training for all parties

Ongoing education and training for all relevant personnel are critical to achieving the goals of your transition plan. More important, educated stakeholders are vital in ensuring ongoing compliance once the transition is complete.

  • Update existing QMS documentation

Clear and thorough documentation is essential to demonstrate compliance with the requirements of the revised standard and to help reduce the risk of nonconformities.

  • Involve your certification partner early in the process

An experienced certification body can provide invaluable assistance in the process of transitioning to the requirements of ISO 9001:2015. Its early involvement can help your organization save time and money.

Conclusion

In a nutshell, there are new areas that organization need contemplate in the implementation of the new standard, but it provides opportunity to review your current approach and modify it if necessary. This can help your business to grow, increase profitability and increase customer satisfaction. It is now a powerful business improvement tool for all sizes and types of organizations to help them remain irrepressible and achieve sustainable growth.

Sources:

http://www.iso.org/iso/iso_9001_-_moving_from_2008_to_2015.pdf

http://www.qualitydigest.com/inside/quality-insider-article/080515-iso-90012015-avoiding-nonconformities-during-transition.html

http://www.qualitymag.com/articles/92754-the-new-iso-90012015-why-its-still-relevant-and-what-are-the-changes