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ISO 14001 Environmental Aspects and Impacts - The Chicken Bone Thread


Involved - Posts
My understanding of 4.3.3 is that you do not even need to have objectives and targets for all significant aspects. Some of your significant aspects will need only operational controls. An example would be something like storm water. You decide that storm water is significant because it is regulated for your facility i.e. you need a permit. The permit says you will have a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP). The SWPPP says you will perform and document periodic inspections of the facility for evidence of storm water contamination.

The SWPPP is an operational control that is auditable. There is no need to establish an objective and target for the significant aspect storm water.


Involved - Posts

Great comment! If the policy specifies environmental aspects to be considered the significance criteria need to reflect this priority.

I am not sure I understand your second comment about not reaching a target because of a new aspect. Could you elaborate?

mdobovsek - 2005


Dear Kalehner!
Let me explain with an example:
We have an O&T related to minimize use of resources, specifically the use of water (we are not a heavy energy/resource user as a pharm industry...)
The target is to messaure the water use related to sections/equipments in plant.
We already installed 10 instruments. Monitoring is on the road
(6 month ago)

Now, we have a new project with new equipments.
We performed analysys of the future aspects of the project; one of this was water consumtion of new equipments.
After analysis, the quantity of water wasn´t significant by itself.
But, the significance is, this water use need to be mesaured ----> for monitoring purpose related to the O&T set.
Consecuence: instalation or verification that the equipment is on a line that have an instrument: we need to mesaure AND control ALL water use.

Det Norske Veritas (our registrar) is very sensible to O&T ( i agree with them). They think:

-we asses your environmental system-
-this system must adress your significant aspects
-you choose wich one include in an O&T
-you choose the Target
-if you do not get the target your system is not functioning as needed (of course if you have a very good reason they may overcome this, but many Target not fullfilled would kill your certification)

This is why we include the relationship between Aspects and O&T on the road; no mater if the aspect itself an alone is not significant.
I hope it clarified sth for you!
Best regards
Significant Aspects

This is an update to an older thread, but it is valuable information. We often ask if regulated aspects need to be considered significant. This question was asked to the U.S. ISO 14000 Technical Advisory Group ("TAG"), which is the American National Standards Institute's ("ANSI") sanctioned body to develop and advance the official U.S. position in the International Organization for Standardization's ("ISO") Technical Committee 207. They delegated to U.S. SubTAG 1 the authority to represent it in Subcommittee 1 of TC 207. Here is the question and their response.



When an organization is identifying its environmental aspects pursuant to Section 4.3.1, must it identify the environmental aspects of other organizations?


No. Section 4.3.1 requires that the organization “establish and maintain (a) procedure(s) to identify the environmental aspects of its activities, products or services that it can control and over which it can be expected to have an influence, in order to determine those which have or can have significant impacts on the environment.” This requirement applies to the environmental aspects of the organization implementing the EMS, not the environmental aspects of other organizations. Further, the requirement applies to those of its activities, products and services over which it has influence and control: both elements must be present.

Notice: This is the "US" SubTag.

I posted the wrong question. Best two our of three?




Must a regulated environmental aspect automatically be considered a significant environmental aspect?


No. Section 3.3 states that “[a] significant environmental aspect is an environmental aspect that has or can have a significant environmental impact.” ISO 14001 does not establish the criteria for determining significance.


Super Moderator
Where is my bag of chicken bones?;)

Lucinda will probably choke, hemmorage and have a case of appoplexy over this one db.:biglaugh:


Still plugging along
when you wish upon a star......

Originally posted by Randy
Where is my bag of chicken bones?;)

Lucinda will probably choke, hemmorage and have a case of appoplexy over this one db.:biglaugh:
Keep dreaming Randy! Of course they would give that response. It is a black and white answer that is to the letter exactly correct. The type of answer one would give in trial testimony. State the fact, give no opinion. They can really do nothing but that. Did the questioner expect something different??? Could you imagine the whole uproar and flack if they actually spoke outside the text of the standard? Oh my, gives a girl the vapors!

I don't dispute it. My comments relate to certification in particular and general practice ..well, in general. Certification in particular will look at the effectiveness and application of the sig test - and those permitted activities should be included. General practice in general says that your permitted activities can have some pretty serious consequences if not treatly "significantly".

I use alot of words. I would hope that somewhere in them I am communicating clearly:) Apparently not. The exact words of the standard are not in question. Never have been.


Super Moderator
You absolutely would not believe the laughs I get in the EMS courses I teach when I discuss the "Chicken Bone" method or determining significance :biglaugh:

What's really funny is when it starts sinking in and folks obtain just a little insight into what they really need to do to meet the unique needs of each of their respective organizations when it comes to determining what is sigificant to "them".
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