Setting Objectives and Targets for the EMS - Is continual improvement required?

M

Mike Smith

#1
This may seem like a silly question to some, but I am struggling with setting our organizations objectives and target. When setting an objective/target, does it mean that you must improve the EMS program for which you are setting the objective/target. Can a objective/target be to only maintain a program? For example, my objective/target for the coming year is to recycle as much paper as last year (no improvement). For some reason when I think objectives/targets, it means that I will improve some process, but from reading the standard it does not mention improving, only that you have objectives/targets.
:bonk:
 
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L

liller

#2
4.4.3 Objectives, targets and programs

4.4.3 "The objectives and targets shall be measurable, where practicable, and consistent with the environmental policy,......and to continual improvement"

It pretty much says it right there in the standard, and the Environmental Policy includes a commitment to "continual improvement."

Why do something if you are not going to improve?
 

Manoj Mathur

Quite Involved in Discussions
#3
Objectives & Targets

Somewhere, I have replied to this thread about two years back. In this I have given a few O&T what we sat for our System in line with EMS. I still remember one or two are as below;

1. To reduce rolling oil consumption from 33 Lit / Ton of production to 29 Lit./ Ton by December 2003.

2. To reduce GHG (Green House Gas) Index by 5% in every year till 2006.

All together there are 20+ O&T we have set.

Regards,

Manoj Mathur
 

Randy

Super Moderator
#4
Achieving targeted objectives is the primary method to show improvement.

Improvement has to be related to some type of environmental performance indicator and if you don't measure it how can you know and show you're getting there?
 
B

BSMITH

#5
Comments

I agree with everything that has been said so far. I would add that in some cases there are rational, explainable reasons why you can't meet a stated objective/target. For example, a facility might assign a team ("re-engineering, quality improvement, or 6 Sigma) to look at alternative methods or technologies to meet a specific objective. The team may not be finished their analysis/study in the first year or the new or improved technology might be cost-prohibitive. Of course, there is a danger in setting many objectives/targets that you end up not meeting for cost reasons.
 

RoxaneB

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
#6
liller said:
Why do something if you are not going to improve?
Because a company only has so many resources. Some things are maintained or are routine activities. Some things are improvement activities. An organization should consider their resources and their strategic plan before decided where they will improve.

That's why I like "multi-level objectives" - for lack of a better description.

For example, an objective at the highest level might be "To minimize consumption of natural resources."

At the next level we say for 2005, the goals to meet the objective are:
  • Maintain recycling rate.
  • Maintain waste-to-landfill rate.
  • Reduce natural gas consumption.
  • Reduce waste water discharge.

Then, for our targets, we assign numerical control limits to ascertain whether or not we are meeting our objective (and take action when we are not).

You can not improve everything and to say that you intend is not only wishful thinking, it lessens the impact of your management system. Intentions are all well and good, but realistically, you are only human (as your co-workers) and you can only do so much.

That's why we do thinks like pareto analysis and analysis of data. To look at what needs to be improved and where we can improve. Maintain the stuff that is under control and performing well. Improve the items that need to be improved and that you are able to directly impact in a postive manner.
 
M

Mike Smith

#7
Very well said R.C.

This is basically how we approached the problem. I just needed some confirmation. Thank you.
For some aspects, our objective/target is only to maintain the system, not improve. Other objectives/targets, we will continue to improve until we reach our stated objective.
 

Steve Prevette

Deming Disciple
Staff member
Super Moderator
#8
liller said:
4.4.3 "The objectives and targets shall be measurable, where practicable, and consistent with the environmental policy,......and to continual improvement"
By the way, there is nothing in this quote that mandates the use of numerical targets. I could make a SPC chart, and declare that my objective for next year is to either

1. Maintain the current performance with no statistically significant adverse trends.

or

2. Generate a statistically significant improvement.

Yes, if all your measures default to holding the current level of performance, you are not demonstrating continual improvement. But not ALL measures every year need to be promised to generate improvement. Else, you would have no prioritization. This is why the word "continual" is important vs. "continuous".
 
Last edited by a moderator:
L

LEADAUDITOR

#9
Ems Aspects/targets

Mike,

You may want to try to take the tools you have such as the FMEA layout. Rate by severity, occurrence, and detection. This helps in laying out a plan to get to the targets.


:)
 

Randy

Super Moderator
#10
All that's really required is that you document what your O&T's are (what & how much) state who is responsible for the program to achieve them (who), define the means (how) and the time frame (when) to make it all happen. You also need to develop a procedure(s) document the information to monitor performance and conformity with your environmental objectives and targets.

An O&T can be a project like building a containment pad or purchasing a piece of equipment.
 
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