ISO 14000, Environmental Management, Sustainability

ISO 14000
Keys to Success

 

Transformation Strategies: ISO 14000, Environmental Management, Sustainability

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ISO 14000, Environmental Management, Sustainability

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ISO 14000, Environmental Management, Sustainability

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ISO 14000, Environmental Management, Sustainability

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ISO 14000, Environmental Management, Sustainability

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ISO 14000, Environmental Management, Sustainability

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ISO 14000, Environmental Management, Sustainability

 

 

 

 

 

 

ISO 14000, Environmental Management, Sustainability

The following keys to success with ISO 14000 and EMS are compiled from many sources. If you have any to share, please contact us so they can be added here. You will be acknowledged for your contribution to the site.

Please see "Acknowledgments" for contributors and sources.

"Design the ISO 14000 EMS around the culture of the company: this is crucial to success." Terry Dowson (see complete article)

ISO 14000, Environmental Management, Sustainability

How do you define success?  Is it actual achievement of progress toward sustainability or an appearance that meets public and "standards" requirements?  Are you producing practical, measurable,  demonstrable results?  Measurements include reducing the amount or severity of needed permits, producing less waste, and reducing emissions. In the long run, pursuing measurable, actual success provides real information for real decisions, which can result in real savings. ISO 14000

ISO 14000, Environmental Management, Sustainability

Reluctant  managements can be persuaded that ISO 14000 is beneficial if they understand the strengths and weaknesses of your current way of doing environmental management. "Highlight the weaknesses of the existing approach, the business and financial implications of these weaknesses and how an EMS according to ISO 14000 could add value." Matthias Gelber

ISO 14000, Environmental Management, Sustainability

Setting objectives, defining success, and determining how to measure success are very important.  As the saying goes,   if you don't know where you are going, you can end up anywhere. ISO 14000

ISO 14000, Environmental Management, Sustainability

Middle management and operations employees can have important input to the value of EMS and ISO 14000, but they may see it as an additional burden.  So, look for ways that it benefits them to gain their support and creative input.

ISO 14000, Environmental Management, Sustainability

"Focus in the early stages on identifying win-win initiatives in order to reinforce and deliver the bottom line opportunities for your organization." Matthias Gelber ISO 14000

ISO 14000, Environmental Management, Sustainability

A program in Taiwan will support companies interested in ISO 14000. This concept may be a key to the success of ISO 14000 in general: support by government agencies.  Click here for more: ISO 14000

ISO 14000, Environmental Management, Sustainability

Self certification may be the best first step for many companies.  See the comments by Dave Schell of Wilton Armetale and more about the company in Case Studies. ISO 14000

ISO 14000, Environmental Management, Sustainability

Here is a tip if you are in Texas, if not, you may encourage your state EPA to offer similar services. "The Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (TNRCC), the state EPA has a very aggressive program to help industries set and achieve effective pollution prevention. TNRCC will send several of their registered engineers to your plant, not as enforcement officers, but as pollution prevention consultants." (Coleman Kavanagh) "The TNRCC also has a Small Business Assistance Program which offers small businesses free environmental consulting to achieve environmental compliance. The voluntary consultants are referred to as 'enviromentors'." (Stephen Forbes)

ISO 14000, Environmental Management, Sustainability

"Targets and objectives: tying environmental effects to targets gives a company (and the people who work there) something to work towards and be proud of when they achieve their targets. It helps create "champions" who will do a great deal of work on their own, without cattle prodding from the EHS management. This motivational tool is totally lacking in traditional compliance management." Pauline Derbyshire ISO 14000

ISO 14000, Environmental Management, Sustainability

According to SGS, an international certification organization, these have been the major areas of nonconformance to the standard found in audits: establishing procedures for identifying environmental aspects (4.3.1), integrating the EMS into existing management system elements (4.4.1, 4.4.3, and 4.4.4), identifying appropriate operational controls (4.4.6), and procedures for identifying problems and taking action to eliminate them (4.5.2). Extra attention to these areas during EMS development and a high quality phase I or gap analysis can speed the registration process. ISO 14000

ISO 14000, Environmental Management, Sustainability

In the policy statement, use words that can be audited and connect to significant aspects and impacts. Words such as "not", "never", always, and " empowered" are inappropriate. ISO 14000

When performing a preregistration audit or gap analysis, if there are many issues of nonconformance, look at the next level up for the cause. ISO 14000

ISO 14000, Environmental Management, Sustainability

One difference between many existing environmental programs and an ISO 14000 EMS is that the program may not be a a system integrated into all parts of the company. The ISO 14000 system spreads environmental responsibility throughout the organization.

ISO 14000, Environmental Management, Sustainability

There are many gray areas in the ISO 14000 standard.  Registrars vary in the way they interpret some things when performing audits. For example, a "major finding" means that there is an important nonconformance with ISO 14000. The nonconformances that are called major findings and what they mean to registration will vary among registrars. So, compare registrars in this area before choosing one.

ISO 14000, Environmental Management, Sustainability

The ISO 14000 EMS is a system where each part is related to and integrated with the others. Environmental aspects, those elements of a company's activities, products, or services that can interact with the environment, are the key to the whole system. Impacts, policy, objectives, training, emergency preparedness, procedures, and documentation must all relate to the aspects.

ISO 14000, Environmental Management, Sustainability

Many companies are moving easily into ISO 14000 because they were already doing many of the things it requires. So, even if a company is uncertain about its timing and commitment for ISO 14000, it can identify those aspects of the standard that can benefit it now and begin phasing them in over time. This "cherry picking" can bring immediate benefits and the phased approach will minimize disruption. If the market or regulators encourage registration, progress will be faster because of this foundation. For example, Rockwell Automation's registration effort was made easier because it was based upon environmental systems already in place. Modifications were all that was necessary.

ISO 14000, Environmental Management, SustainabilityISO 14000, Environmental Management, SustainabilityISO 14000, Environmental Management, Sustainability

The biggest challenge and opportunity for success is to change the way a company thinks about the environment. It must be seen as a business issue: what benefits does the environment bring the company and its customers? This is a change from reactive, command and control thinking. Since everything comes from the environment, this change in thinking leads to protection of the sources of business prosperity. ISO 14000

ISO 14000, Environmental Management, Sustainability

3M is well known for its success in reducing pollution. One key to its success is focusing on four high impact areas: product reformulation, process modification, equipment redesign, and recycling or reuse of waste materials. The most important is the first: to design pollution out of the product. ISO 14000

ISO 14000, Environmental Management, Sustainability

Top management's commitment to ISO 14000 must include visible concern over environmental issues and high standards for which people are held accountable. Most important is the commitment of adequate financial, organizational, and technological resources. If the "walk" doesn't match the "talk", credibility will be lost along with individual effort and results.

ISO 14000, Environmental Management, Sustainability

There will be conflicts between environmental management and business operations. Management must truly consider all sides with an eye to win-win solutions. Since most people can sense when a "spin" is being given to a situation, rigorous honesty is required in the communication of problems and solutions. ISO 14000
ISO 14000, Environmental Management, Sustainability

 

Setting high standards can help a company achieve more than it thought possible. Many companies are setting a standard of "zero waste." This may not be realistic for some. It is important that goals be a stretch and achievable. The bar can always be raised later. Achievement of goals builds confidence and momentum. ISO 14000
ISO 14000, Environmental Management, Sustainability An employee suggestion program is a good first step to getting people involved and harnessing the power of local knowledge. Two things that can add to the power of this program are giving employees the ability to implement their own suggestions and rewarding them for their efforts. Follow-up is also important; give timely feedback. ISO 14000
ISO 14000, Environmental Management, Sustainability Companies can turn their wastes into profits when their wastes can be input to the processes of other companies, and companies can reduce their materials costs when they use the wastes of another company as their input. This requires coordination among purchasing, product design, and waste management. ISO 14000
ISO 14000, Environmental Management, Sustainability The President's Council on Environmental Quality found that frequently employees thought they were doing everything they could to reduce waste when a recycling program was in place. In reality, much more could be done. This is a problem of perception that management leadership, communications, and special programs can overcome. ISO 14000
ISO 14000, Environmental Management, Sustainability Communication by top management is critical. The intent of the project, its benefits to company and individual, the overall vision, and the plan for accomplishment must be clearly communicated. ISO 14000
ISO 14000, Environmental Management, Sustainability The pace of EMS development and implementation should be fast enough to keep employees interested and excited, but not so fast that errors occur or that it is a superficial effort. ISO 14000
ISO 14000, Environmental Management, Sustainability The level of discipline and structure will be higher than exists with most existing environmental systems. This requires greater education and management attention. ISO 14000
ISO 14000, Environmental Management, Sustainability For organizations with ISO 9001, the existing management process can be applied to 14000. The technical and regulatory aspects of an ISO 14000 EMS are combined with the existing management system, discipline, audit process, and continual improvement process of ISO 9000. Unique aspects of ISO 14000 will be visible against the 9000 background. This approach leverages the investment in ISO 9000 and reduces the cost of ISO 14000.
ISO 14000, Environmental Management, Sustainability The way each organization practices environmental management is unique. Success is achieved by tailoring the system to recognize internal and external characteristics. See the "Models of Environmental Management" page for more on this topic. ISO 14000
ISO 14000, Environmental Management, Sustainability The benefits of an ISO 14000 EMS are both short and long term. To maximize long term benefits, a long term view must be taken and supported by management. If the long term is traded off for short term objectives, long term benefits will suffer. ISO 14000
ISO 14000, Environmental Management, Sustainability ISO 14000 stresses the creation of a "system." This means that all parts of the program must be connected for them to survive. Connection to the organizational policy and the benefits must be visible and maintained. ISO 14000
ISO 14000, Environmental Management, Sustainability Explain environmental facts and the EMS in an interesting way to help employees maintain their enthusiasm. Present information using marketing and communications techniques. ISO 14000
ISO 14000, Environmental Management, Sustainability Even though a program has been established and responsibilities assigned, this does not mean that environmental concerns have been addressed or benefits achieved. Implementation must be thorough and management committed to ongoing support for the program to succeed. ISO 14000
ISO 14000, Environmental Management, Sustainability Align goals and objective setting process with quality (ISO 9000) and operations programs. Team with quality and manufacturing improvement programs to build on their success and gain their support. Include saving money, reducing cycle time, and making a good product. ISO 14000
ISO 14000, Environmental Management, Sustainability ISO 14000 registration alone is not enough to assure success. The EMS must become an integral part of the organization to reap maximum benefits. This may require a new way of thinking about the business and its stakeholders.
ISO 14000, Environmental Management, Sustainability Top management must be committed to the environmental policy and environmental management system. Their commitment must be visible to the whole organization so that each employee contributes fully. ISO 14000
ISO 14000, Environmental Management, Sustainability Identifying as many environmental aspects as possible is very important. The plan may choose not to address some aspects, but having identified them provides the opportunity to determine their impact and decide if the impact is great enough to warrant action. ISO 14000
ISO 14000, Environmental Management, Sustainability Implementation should be pushed to the lowest level possible and as widespread as possible. Responsibility for environmental protection would no longer reside with a single group. ISO 14000
ISO 14000, Environmental Management, Sustainability Participation by many different stakeholders will increase the chances for success. These could include employees, stockholders, customers, insurance carriers, and suppliers. ISO 14000
ISO 14000, Environmental Management, Sustainability Pollution control moves from an “end of the pipe” objective to one involving all stages of production. Product development, service delivery, materials purchasing, product design, and manufacturing operations must all be included. ISO 14000
ISO 14000, Environmental Management, Sustainability Auditors will look for continuous improvement in the system. These improvements can include better education of employees, better communication of ideas from and to employees, better reporting of environmental impacts within the company, and improved identification of environmental aspects. ISO 14000
ISO 14000, Environmental Management, Sustainability The benefits of ISO 14000 may be new to the organization, so they may not be recognized or pursued. Since there is a cost to ISO 14000 registration, pursuit of benefits must be aggressive.
ISO 14000, Environmental Management, Sustainability In organizations that have an environmental management department, their role will change from one of just responding to laws and regulations to one that includes leadership and education for all members of the organization. ISO 14000
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