ISO 14001 EMS - Objectives and Targets in Small Service Companies

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
#1
OK - this one is for the 'Pros'. Let's say you have a small company that provides services. The services do not use materials (in a production sense) and it's only waste is that from the offices. New contracts are for the same services.

We analyze the organization and grounds and all that (legal requirements, industry standards, etc.) and find nothing that we can really cite as a target for improvement with a measureable objective with the exception of say - a reduction in paper used within the office areas. What is the auditor's reaction going to be?

Any comments on Continuous Improvement is this type of situation also welcomed.
 
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J

Jim Biz

#2
Sure Not a Pro

Guessing here -

How about a measurable reduction in heating costs / and or Electrical Use ( U already mentioned trash volume )

Can copy machines (or hard copy paper itself) be eliminated (could approach it as an environmental issue with used toner etc.)

As long as I'm guessing - how about a measurable reduction for energy used by the workforce (could push it as far as share a ride to work & figure out how much gasoliene the company has saved "society" in general.
 

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
#3
Yeah. I guess I'm looking at this like a small, simple company with a single, simple process looks at statistical techniques - or did in the 'old' ISO 9K standard.

Reductions in paper are recognized, but how do you really set a target - objective. I'm in the "....how can I minimally impact a small, non-complex service business in implementing ISO 14001..." mode. In larger companies, and particularly manufacturing companies, it makes more sense to have even a specificed manager just like one has (typically) a quality manager.

14001 is a Ford requirement for transportation suppliers. My client is a Mom & Pop which has been doing 'milk runs' for the most part for over 30 years. They do recognize paper use, energy use and such but to have a structured 'active program' is borderline. They have realized responsibilities and have gone so far that almost everything is leased from tractors to trailers to tires to batteries. Toner cartriges are returned to HP for recycling. Oil is picked up by a recycler as is 'environmentally sensitive' trash like used oil and air filters. They even have a heating and cooling contractor change furnace filters on a schedule. Even their truck washing is done by contract with an outside supplier with specialized experience - the contractor is responsible for environmental regulations compliance with respect to run off. Note that this is all pre- 14001 so it is really part of their normal business 'thinking'.

I'm just fishing for thoughts.
 
E

energy

#4
Something?

Maybe a committment to energy saving devices such as new energy efficient lighting, climate controls within the facility. These would be goals/targets. Sounds like nobody will have a problem with them now. As I mentioned before, runoff from the facility is controlled in our state by a General Permit for Stormwater run off. You must sample stormdrains annually. The SIC codes are being added that increases the types of businesses required to obtain this General Permit. It requires to address where vehicles are parked, where you push your snow when it's plowed and tarping any "product" stored out side or building shelters where needed. Product unloading/loading areas and their relation to the nearest stormdrain. All this because the runoff eventually flows into the waters of the state that eventually find their way to the sea, at least in Connecticut. :vfunny: It appears that the trucks are washed off site. Yes? They would not be able to assume responsibility for the run off without a site specific Discharge Permit. Just some areas that would give room for creating some objectives. They sound like they could get registered tomorrow. JMHO
 
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J

Jim Biz

#5
I tend to agree with energy on this one (OH NOOOOO) :D but sounds like they have completed their homework so to speak... they need to take cedit for what they have done.

In a streeee,,,, ach one might approach the issue by
identifying what has been done in the past as a benchmark-- put a cost measuremet "savings or Env impact gained" and "Declare in documetation that that level (whatever it turns out to be) will be maintained and monitored untill trends identify further actions are needed for improvement.
 

Randy

Super Moderator
#6
How about.....

Objective - Improve employee awareness of environmental issues (including at home)

Target - Hold monthly (or whatever period is acceptable) awareness training class. Train 100% of employees by end of year.

This is an area where creativity can run rampant.

Review the identified aspects, there may be something that was missed.

How about: reducing solid waste by X%; reducing water usage by X%; reducing air emissions by X% (specify low emission leased vehicles); increasing the usage of recycled materials by X%; etc..
 
D

Dean P.

#7
Business Benefits?

I agree with the suggestions posted above, all are good, measurable Os' & T's. My question goes a different way on this: do the Big 3 allow self declaration or 2nd party certification to the ISO-14001 standard (I assume your customer supplies Ford based on your post)? For a small business I doubt that they will save enough money in waste and energy reductions to cover the cost of 3rd party registration. Registration then becomes an added cost of business which will ultimately increase pricing to the customer!! In the "ISO 14000 Essentials" by CSA it references how an EMS applies to small businesses. It notes that it is possible for small businesses to align it's business process with ISO-14001 whether the objective is to self-declare or register by a 3rd party where and when appropriate. Do the Big 3 consider this 'where and when appropriate'? That's it for my first post.
 

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
#8
Ford requires 3rd party registration, Dean, so its not elective. They have no choice. My problem is what Randy said:

> This is an area where creativity can run rampant.

All prior to (unrelated to) the 14001 requirement they recognized water - including new commodes - the low water use type. A year ago they had a consultant come in and evaluate their electrical usage. New, special bulbs and fixtures were installed throughout the facility. They understand their runoff - including land contour issues - they pay for a permit each year and the city checks runoff for the entire area regularly. About the only thing they don't do is recycle aluminum cans from a soda machine - but, to my surprise, they did look at that a year or two ago and said they know how many they sell and it's less than 10 cans a day. Most of the truck drivers take them to their truck cabs.

Yes - we're at the point of 'where do you stop'. We're considering printer ribbons on some old dot matrix printers which they currently throw in the garbage. We're contacting the disposal comany to ensure it's OK to throw them away and we're contacting the manufacturer to see if there is any toxicity or a reycling program. Printer ribbons, as far as I know, are not recyclable - but we're going to find out for sure.

As far as extending to workers in their homes - well, we do have environmental awareness training tentatively scheduled but as you know that's not controlable by the company. We do plan to talk about their awareness outside of work but don't polan a big program aimed at 'reforming' employees per se.

They only haul steel in covered trucks so there's little probably that even in a truck accident that environmental contamination from what they haul would be an issue at all.

Good thoughts from everyone - I appreciate them. I personally don't see 14001 as a big deal for this company - but they have to do it - sooooo..... As I said, I'm just fishing for ideas. We had a meeting on this this morning and I'm going to try to come up with a few things, but as far as I can tell so far they're on the ball - way ahead of me in being proactive in environmental issues. For example, I was surprised that in such small a company they went so far as to replace commodes with low water use ones not to mention the electical use consultant. heck, there's only about 35 people total in the company.

Anything to please Ford and 'reduce' costs, eh? Dean said:

> For a small business I doubt that they will save enough
> money in waste and energy reductions to cover the cost of
> 3rd party registration.

No doubt about it - this will be little more than an increase in operating costs. They're not going to save much if anything.
 
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