Public Access to Environmental Policy - Means and Methods

P

Peter West

#1
Dear Coveists

Once again I have been left floundered by the ISO 14001 and its wording and hope some people may have an opinion on the below.

4.2.g of the Standard states that the Environmental policy must be available to the public.

I am wondering to what extent this is necessary? We currently have a few copies with reception in some of our offices, however is the following sufficient to satisfy the Standard -

Person comes in off the street and asks reception for a copy of the Policy, so reception phone me up and say "please provide one" and I send one down to reception.

This seems much easier than the current process (and it avoids the chance of someone using an outdated version).

So basically - is being willing to provide a copy to the public upon request sufficient for 4.2.g?

Thanks a lot

Peter
 
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S

S. Thompson

#2
Hi Peter,

We have added our E Policy to our website.

If the policy is updated, I update the website.

Regards
Sandra
 
#3
Yes, just post your policy on your company's website and/or frame it and post it in your lobby. I have never had an auditor tell me that that was not sufficient.
 
Likes: db
#5
Yes, just post your policy on your company's website and/or frame it and post it in your lobby. I have never had an auditor tell me that that was not sufficient.
Very common, but one consideration of the lobby thing. I had a client that I told posting the Environmental Policy in the lobby did not satisfy the requirement. The reason? In order to get to the lobby, a visitor would first have to get past the gate. The general public was unable to do that. The solution? Post the policy at the gatehouse.
 
#6
Hi,

Long ago, when the standard was still in the Draft stage I learnt that "Publicly Available" means that the document is not a confidential document or a document for restricted distribution. Publishing the policy on the WEB or posting the policy at the entrance or on walls or printing the policy on diaries/business cards that are widely distributed are all various ways of demonstrating that the policy is not confidential or for restricted distribution. In some organizations a booklet with all the policies, including the environmental policy is given to all the employees and visitors. In my opinion any action that demonstrates that the policy document is not restricted to a few should meet the requirement of "publicly available" policy.

With kind regards,

Ramakrishnan
 
Likes: db
P

Peter West

#7
Thanks to all of you. They are the types of responses I was hoping to see. Our internet is currently under design and could be a while, whereas our Stage 2 assessment is due in April.

We are open to the public, but the points mentioned above all require a degree of action (i.e. putting the policy somewhere public). I assume by that consensus that just waiting for someone to ask for it may not be approved by the external auditor?
 

Randy

Super Moderator
#8
You can nail it up on a sign post in front of your plant if you want to or even print it on the back of a milk carton.

Just make sure that you do it the way you say you will and that it works.........As for the method......doesn't matter.
 
C

C Emmons

#9
We posted ours on our website - in additiion - we are certified to RC14001 which has additional requirements about the communiation - so we also put it on our contractor handouts - qualification packets etc.

(I have seem some companies print it on the back of their business cards)
 
P

Peter West

#10
As our internet is under construction I am leaning towards placing it on a wall and then phoning every office when it is updated. As we have updated it 3 times in the last fortnight I hope it won't change much in the near future.

Although an interesting idea our policy is quite large (in comparison with a business card) so doubt we could fit it on - unless we use size 0.5 font - "small print" :lol:

Thanks again for all your help.
 
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