ISO 14001 Environmental Management System

Published on 20/05/2011

India has taken large strides towards multi-faced socio-economic development during the 50 years since independence. However, this development has also brought along with it the pressures on Land, Water and Air quality affecting the environment adversely.

To control the environmental pollution, the Govt. has laid an organisational, regulatory and fiscal framework under the MOEF & Central/State PC Boards with extensive environmental legislation during the past two decades. However, it is being increasingly realised that a purely regulatory approach to tackle environmental pollution has serious limitations and this needs to be supplemented by a greater awareness and commitment on the part of the industry to manufacture the products in an environmentally acceptable and sound manner under the overall objective of sustainable development.

With a greater public awareness globally, the public and the stake holders are now demanding that the products must not only be of high quality and competitively priced, but also they should be produced without adversely affecting the environment. It is now clear that only the environmentally responsible companies shall be able to retain and enhance their share of the growing international market. Accordingly, a discernible trend is slowly emerging in the corporate world of projecting ones’ image as that of environmentally sound enterprise. This approach essentially means that the control of pollution instead of being merely reactive to the regulatory controls, has to be replaced by a proactive approach to demonstrate environmental performance beyond compliance.

The above objective can only be achieved by adopting a credible Environmental Management System which provides a structured process for periodically reviewing and evaluating the environmental performance that it sets itself, as also for achieving continual improvement. The ISO 14001 International Standard prescribes such an Environmental Management System.

The ISO 14001 Environmental Management System:

The international ISO 14001 EM Standard, with an overall aim to support environmental protection and prevention of pollution in balance with the socio-economic needs, is :

   1. Applicable to all types and sizes of organisations an accommodates diverse geographical, cultural and social conditions.
2. Intends to provide elements of effective environment management system, which can be integrated with other management requirements, to assist in achieving environmental and economic goals.
3. Enables an organisation to establish and assess the effectiveness of,
Procedures to set an environmental policy and objectives
Achieve conformance with them, and
Demonstrate such conformance to others.
4. Addresses the needs of a broad range of interested parties and the evolving needs of society for environmental protection.

Benefits of the ISO 14001 EM System:
To the Organisation:

    * Improved Operational Efficiency
* Better Uilisation of materials & resources
* Reduced costs and wastage
* Increased access to world markets
* Improved staff morale and work environment
* Assurance to interested parties
* Enhanced Corporate Image
* Encourages partnership between industry and regulators

To the Nation:

    * Better Utilisation of National Resources
* Reduced pressure on Environment
* Reduced cost of Enforcement
* Potential Annual Savings
* Globally Competitive Industry
* Environmentally Conscious Nation

Road Map to ISO 14001 Certification :

    * Study ISO 14000 Standard
* Preferably appoint an outside Consultant/Guide
* Appoint Management Representative
* Formulate & disseminate Environmental Policy
* Develop & implement ISO 14001 Environmental Management System
* Train Internal Environmental Auditor or appoint outside Env. Auditor
* Appoint Certifying Agency, viz. DNV, BVQI, TUV, BIS etc.
* Carry out at least 2 Internal Environmental Audits
* Pre Assessment Audit by Certifying Agency
* Final Certification Audit by the Certifying Agency
* Post implementation benefit Analysis after 3 months of Certification

Current Scene of ISO 14001 Certification in the Country :

    * Over 35 Industrial Units already Certified to ISO 14001
* Another 40 units currently implementing ISO 14001

Significant productivity improvements and financial savings reported by the Companies on ISO 14001 implementation, like,

   1. Indian Aluminium Company (INDAL) reported,
* 80 % reduction in Water Consumption
* Recovery of Copper, Tin & Lead from Spent Acid, etchants & liquid & solid wastes
* Elimination of the use of toxic chemicals like, formaldehyde, lead & fluorides by substituting with alternate technologies
* Use of poor grade coal by CFBC Boiler
* 50 % less requirement for land for Ash storage
2. ITC Limited (ILTD Division) reported,
* Minimised Water Consumption
* Minimised Coal Consumption in Boilers
* Reduced Energy Consumption in Line-II
* Streamlining of Waste disposal procedures
* Reduced Ambient Air Temperature near DG Sets
* Reduced Noise emissions

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