Our team of environmental management experts have developed a good resource of answers to some common questions asked by our customers. If you have a question on workplace compliance, please email us at info@assurityconsulting.co.uk

    How do I go about reviewing my environment policy?

    Over the last decade, we have seen sustainability develop from primarily an environmental topic to cover areas as diverse as health and safety, wellbeing, social value, modern slavery and the living wage. The nature of the organisation will dictate how each element interacts, the significance it has and so the profile it presents. Understanding this is fundamental to successfully implementing and delivering on your policy aims.

    Your environmental policy must address the following:

    • Demonstrate commitment by getting it signed, dated and endorsed by senior management.       
    • Include a description of your organisation and the activities which may impact on the environment.
    • Include a commitment to education and training of employees, particularly those responsible.
    • State how progress will be monitored, and environmental performance reviewed.
    • Document realistic, achievable and relevant targets to your organisation's environmental impact.

    A strategic level management review is an ideal step in gaining that understanding. It provides a clear picture of your current position, the information you have/are reporting and so where your resources can be deployed to best effect for your department and your organisation.

    Related services: Environmental Management
    My building could be at risk of flooding, what do I need to do?

    Floods over the past few years have highlighted the urgent need for long-term business continuity planning.

    Flooding also has secondary problems as it can cause travel problems, power cuts and water supply disruption.

    We can carry out a water continuity management review to see where your biggest risks are and help you to minimise the impact to your organisation.

    Related services: Environmental Management
    How can my organisation become ISO 14001 certified?

    ISO 14001 is an internationally recognised environmental management standard that specifies the requirements for an effective Environmental Management System (EMS). The ISO 14001 standard provides a set of standards and guidelines that define the core EMS itself and the auditing procedures necessary for verification. The standard gives guidance on what you need to do structurally but does not define the specific environmental performance goals and the core requirements of an EMS are applicable to organisations of all sizes, types and locations.

    What are the stages involved in becoming certified?

    1. The first step in working towards certification involves carrying out an Environmental Management Review. The review process provides a comprehensive analysis of the environmental performance, issues and impacts related to your business activities. The process involves drawing a list of all those aspects at the site which could have any effect on the environment and identifying any gaps in current environmental management. From here specific environmental aspects of an organisation can be prioritised to set clear objectives and define the scope of the Environmental Management System.
    2. All employees should be provided with training on what ISO 14001 is and why your organisation is looking to become certified.
    3. Once an EMS has been developed and documented, employees will follow procedures, collect records and make improvements to the system. This collection of records will be required during an audit to show that your processes meet the requirements set out for them and that improvements are being made. Different certification bodies will identify a certain length of time in which this needs to be carried out, to make sure that the system is mature enough to show compliance.
    4. Internal audits should be carried out to gain an understanding of how your system is working. This will allow you to find any gaps where processes are perhaps not doing what was planned and allow you to make necessary improvements.
    5. A management review meeting should then be carried out to make sure that processes have adequate resources to be effective and improve.
    6. Finally, when your organisation is fully prepared, the external certification body will audit your organisation in two stages. The initial stage reviews documentation to verify that your organisation is meeting the necessary requirements of the standard and then this will be followed by an on-site audit.

    Related services: Environmental Management


    What is an environmental management system?

    An environmental management system (EMS) helps an organisation achieve environmental objectives through consistent review, evaluation, and improvement of its environmental performance and is based plan, do check, act methodology.  The system consists of policies, processes, procedures and records and document how your organisation meets regulatory requirement by assessing and monitoring interactions with the environment and helping to prevent negative environmental impacts and improve environmental performance.

    Related services: Environmental Management

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