ISO 14001 Control vs. Influence - Environmental Aspects Identification

N

nimbuszero

#1
Greetings all! Obviously, this is my first post. I've been browsing the forums for about a month taking in as much information as possible before daring to ask any questions. However, I have one issue now that I feel comfortable in requesting some guidance on.

In regards to 4.3.1 and the Environmental Aspects identification procedure, I'm having trouble determining the distinction between "control" and "influence". As this is the case, I certainly have no idea how to work the designating of aspects as one or the other into a documented procedure.

I've looked at countless matrices and have found that unfortunately, they tend to avoid stating whether an aspect is controlled or influenced. Any guidance that could be given in regards to my issue would be greatly appreciated. It may be very obvious, but I'll state anyway that I'm very new to this EMS Coordinator position I am in, and essentially, I am the CFT =/
 
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Sidney Vianna

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Staff member
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#2
Re: ISO 14001 Control versus Influence

In regards to 4.3.1 and the Environmental Aspects identification procedure, I'm having trouble determining the distinction between "control" and "influence". As this is the case, I certainly have no idea how to work the designating of aspects as one or the other into a documented procedure.
Welcome to The Cove and congrats on posting for the first time. I remember the feeling almost 7,000 posts ago. How "intimidating" that was. As for your question, did you have a chance to read section A.3.1 of ISO 14001:2004? Annex A is an informative guidance section of the standard. Paragraph A.3.1 talks about the control vs. influence issue.
 
S

samsung

#3
Re: ISO 14001 Control versus Influence

Enough guidance is given in the Annexure (A.3.1 Environmental aspects) to ISO 14001 standard.

In addition to those environmental aspects an organization can control directly, an organization should also consider aspects that it can influence, e.g. those related to goods and services used by the organization and those related to products and services that it provides. Some guidance to evaluate control and influence is provided below. However, in all circumstances it is the organization that determines the degree of control and also the aspects it can influence.
ISO 14001 only requires you to identify those aspects that you can control and those you can influence (within the defined scope). If they aren't significant (based on the criteria set by the organization), you don't have to do anything. e.g. disposition of packaging material, if you can't control or influence the end users by any means, you don't even need to 'identify' it as an aspect.
 
N

nimbuszero

#4
Re: ISO 14001 Control versus Influence

Ah, you know, I did read that before, I've just been so overwhelmed with information in my new position that I let it get pushed into the recesses of my mind. Thank you very much for reminding me :) Now I just need to figure out how to work this into a procedure. Thank you again!
 

Randy

Super Moderator
#5
Keep it simple...Read the definitions in Section 3 and study Annex A to help gain some clarity...And don't get all wrapped around the axle trying to identify every aspect in the world, it's a process that once you have in place will mature and get better. Aspect identification is like peeling layers off of an onion...Start big and as you gain in understanding start working inward until you get to the smaller stuff deeper inside the scope (scope means boundaries) of your system (activies, products and services)
 
N

nimbuszero

#6
Thank you very much for your thoughtful response. I'm beginning, slowly to get the hang of identification. Initially I was feeling overwhelmed, but now I feel as though I'm taking an approach similar to your recommendation of "peeling". Again, thank you for the advice, I really do appreciate it.
 

Randy

Super Moderator
#7
Everybody feels overwhelmed at 1st...Kinda like I was the 1st time I jumped out of an airplane that wasn't broke!

Lok at it this way....There's no way to do it wrong other than the way it don't work for ya.

If it don't work...FIX IT! And you can change the way you do it any time you want...It seems like people forget to tell folks this last bit of information....There isn't any set in concrete, NADA
 
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