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Informational Companies with No SIGNIFICANT Environmental Aspects - ISO 14001

T

Truppenzwei

#71
Re: ISO 14001 with No SIGNIFICANT Environmental Aspects - Small Service Company

The answer you seek is contained within this Thread and is posted in the Cove and there is not perfect answer that fits everyone.......as for aspects...

If your breathing then you are using a natural resource and are creating a greenhous gas

If you drink water you are using a natural rsource and are creating waste

If you generate trash then you are using resources and creating waste

It doesn't matter what you identify as significant, but you have to have something which is important to you and your organization, if not don't waste your time because 14001 is about improvement and not a piece of paper on the wall.

Surely if the system is doing it's job there comes a point when no improvement is possible? What do you do then - deregister your company?

One reason why a company that has minimal impact on the environment (nobody has none) would seek to be 14001 certified is that many governmental/NGO tenders require that certification in order to qualify as a tenderer.

Also while there are myriad indirect aspects for any company, isn't the focus supposed to be on those within the companies control?

Regards
T.
 

Colin

Quite Involved in Discussions
#72
Re: ISO 14001 with No SIGNIFICANT Environmental Aspects - Small Service Company

Even if you reach the point where no improvements are possible - it would only be a temporary situation. The world changes and technology moves on. What works now may not work in a few years time. Legislation changes too and what may be acceptable now may not be next time.
 

Randy

Super Moderator
#73
Re: ISO 14001 with No SIGNIFICANT Environmental Aspects - Small Service Company

Also while there are myriad indirect aspects for any company, isn't the focus supposed to be on those within the companies control?

Regards
T.
Noooooooo, read the standard.....

4.3.1 a)..to identify the environmental aspects of its activities, products and services within the defined scope of the environmental management system that it can control and those that it can influence taking into account planned or new developments, or new or modified activities, products and services


Start and then keep peeling back the layers of the onion...
 
T

Truppenzwei

#74
Re: ISO 14001 with No SIGNIFICANT Environmental Aspects - Small Service Company

Noooooooo, read the standard.....

4.3.1 a)..to identify the environmental aspects of its activities, products and services within the defined scope of the environmental management system that it can control and those that it can influence taking into account planned or new developments, or new or modified activities, products and services


Start and then keep peeling back the layers of the onion...

I shall rephrase slightly ;

Also while there are myriad indirect aspects for any company, isn't the focus supposed to be on those within the companies ability to change/effect/control/influence.

I remember having this sort of discussion with my trainer when I went on the auditing course - largely because our company has very few environmental impacts that we aren't already doing the best we can to mitigate. And while technology etc changes - it doesn't change that quickly in certain areas.

To illustrate;

We are a small IT services company - what we do hasn't changed significantly for quite a few years - all the paper is shredded and recycled, as in fact is all our waste (recycled not shredded, that would be messy). We make extended use of remote technologies and that type of thing. All our hardware is as low-power/low-emission as we can get it.

When I do an audit on the environmental side I find that, just like last time, we are basically at the best practice level - so what do we do to show continual improvement? While I can see that there might be some sort of revolutionary technology appear between one accreditation visit and the next, there generally isn't.

Is it a case of constantly trying to tweak our procedures to try and creep upward on some metric?


That said - I have just thought of one way we could improve which is move from the dead-tree style of QMS/EMS system to an electronic one, but what do I do next year to improve? Use txtspeak to save characters?

Regards
T.
NB: The txtspeak thing is in no way to be regarded as a serious suggestion.
 

Randy

Super Moderator
#75
Re: ISO 14001 with No SIGNIFICANT Environmental Aspects - Small Service Company

Your question is not that unusual and is difficult to answer except by saying think of your organization,the environment, your EMS,your aspects, your SA's as all being an onion....as your system matures you have to keep pelling the onion back layer by layer......

Are you taking into account the views of interested parties? Ask your neighbors or you city officials about how they view your environmental stewardship...If you get a negative comment then there is something you can look at.

Do you have employees who drive to work on public roads? Then maybe the environmental condition of the road (trash) could be something you can look at. Start a road clean up activity and weigh the trash that was removed from the environment.

How about the gas your employees use and the emissions from their vehicles? Those are aspects aren't they. How can they be influenced...does the term "car pooling" come up.

You just need to be creative
 
T

Truppenzwei

#76
Re: ISO 14001 with No SIGNIFICANT Environmental Aspects - Small Service Company

Your question is not that unusual and is difficult to answer except by saying think of your organization,the environment, your EMS,your aspects, your SA's as all being an onion....as your system matures you have to keep pelling the onion back layer by layer......

Are you taking into account the views of interested parties? Ask your neighbors or you city officials about how they view your environmental stewardship...If you get a negative comment then there is something you can look at.

Do you have employees who drive to work on public roads? Then maybe the environmental condition of the road (trash) could be something you can look at. Start a road clean up activity and weigh the trash that was removed from the environment.

How about the gas your employees use and the emissions from their vehicles? Those are aspects aren't they. How can they be influenced...does the term "car pooling" come up.

You just need to be creative
Yes I can see that, but given that we keep getting told that adhering to standards is supposed to help improve our business I feel that 14001 seems to conflict a bit with that once you reach a certain level. If to achieve conformance with 14001 need for continual improvement you are having to poggle things by extending your companies sphere of responsibility further and further away from the business then something doesn't seem right.

Regards
T.
 

RoxaneB

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
#77
Re: ISO 14001 with No SIGNIFICANT Environmental Aspects - Small Service Company

You mentioned that you acquire "green" technology for your own organization...or as green as possible. What about your clients? I don't know what form of IT service your organization provides, but pushing "green" technology to your clients could be something to focus on.

As Randy said, sometimes it's necessary to get creative...have you discussed this with your organization's employees to see what they can come up with?

Possible ideas for continual improvement...

  • Form an employee environmental committee that will become involved in the community (i.e., "Adopt a School" for tree plantings...give away trees to the community...and so on)
  • Review your landscaping and considering drought-tolerate, shading-providing plants.
  • Look at the company parking lot and reconsider the layout in terms of where the sewers are.
  • Yellow fish programme - a yellow fish at sewers to remind people of where contaminents go.
  • Consider your janitorial service and acquiring "green" cleaners for them to use.

If you feel that there is little green value in what your organization does in terms of a service/product, look at some of "softer" activities, or those that are less business-direct, going on around you.
 
A

aerospaced

#78
Re: ISO 14001 with No SIGNIFICANT Environmental Aspects - Small Service Company

A small office activity is part of a large international company and is interested in getting added to the multi-site certificate. They follow the corporate procedure for aspects and impacts and determine that none of their aspects meet the criteria for significance as set by the corporate procedure (miniscule impacts when compared to the large corporate manufacturing sites). Would a registrar still require the small office activity to have a significant impact before recommending them to be added to the multi-site cert? Looking for some guidance - appreciate any insight provided.
 

Sidney Vianna

Post Responsibly
Staff member
Admin
#79
Re: ISO 14001 with No SIGNIFICANT Environmental Aspects - Small Service Company

A small office activity is part of a large international company and is interested in getting added to the multi-site certificate. They follow the corporate procedure for aspects and impacts and determine that none of their aspects meet the criteria for significance as set by the corporate procedure (miniscule impacts when compared to the large corporate manufacturing sites). Would a registrar still require the small office activity to have a significant impact before recommending them to be added to the multi-site cert? Looking for some guidance - appreciate any insight provided.
If they follow the established EMS, they would not have to artificially come up with significant aspects for the small office.

But all the applicable corporate driven EMS requirements would have to be complied with, for them to be added to the multi-site certificate.
 
#80
Re: ISO 14001 with No SIGNIFICANT Environmental Aspects - Small Service Company

If they follow the established EMS, they would not have to artificially come up with significant aspects for the small office.
Is that because it is a multi-site cert? If they wanted to register each location separately, they would have to have their own significant aspects then, correct?
 
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