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ISO 14001

ENVIRONMENTAL
ASPECTS
What are Environmental
Aspects?
 Features of a company’s operations,
processes, activities, products, or services
that can have an impact (good or bad) on
the environment
Examples:
»use of resources
»discharges to water, air, or land
»Spills, leaks, splashes
»energy emissions
»Toxicity, reactivity, flammability,
explosibility

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What is an Environmental
Impact?
 A change (negative or positive) in the
environment caused by an
environmental aspect
 The environment includes:
» air, water, land
» Flora & fauna (animals, plants, humans)
» natural resources and raw materials
» interactions between any of these

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 What we do …….. (Activity)

» Feature associated with activity…


(Aspect)

• Influence on environment ... (Impact)

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Relationship

IMPACT
ASPECT EFFECT
CAUSE

 Air Emissions  Degradation of Air Quality


(CO, NOx)  Reduction in
 Energy Usage Natural Resources
(Gas and Diesel)
 Used Oil Recycling  Conservation of Natural
 Solid Waste Generation Resources
 Reduction in Landfill Space

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ISO 14001 Environmental
Aspects says:
The organisation shall establish and
maintain procedures to identify the
environmental aspects of activities,
products, or services that it can control
and over which it can be expected to
have an influence, to determine those
which have, or can have, significant
impacts on the environment

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Establish and Maintain
a Procedure
Used frequently in the ISO 14001 Standard

Establish = develop & implement

Maintain = keep up-to-date & accurate

Procedure = sequence of actions required


to carry out a task

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Key: Identify the
environmental aspects that
your organization
- Can control, and

- Over which it can have an


influence

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Aspects Definitions
What is meant by “it can control”?
 Operations that company
management can directly affect by
its decisions, such as:
» product and process design
» equipment selection
» raw material use
» emissions to the environment
» waste minimization practices

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Aspects Definitions (Cont’d)
What is meant by “and have influence over”?
 Requirements and expectations
management can place on contractors and
suppliers, such as:
» use more environmentally-friendly materials
» reduce amount of packaging
» require supplier to take back empty containers
for re-use or recycle
» cover road and rail bulk shipments to prevent
material blow-off

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ISO 14001 Environmental
Aspects also says:
 Ensure that environmental aspects
related to significant impacts are
considered when setting
environmental objectives
 Keep the information up to date

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Generate inventory of
aspects & impacts
 List all your activities, products & services
 List their environmental aspects
 List the environmental impacts of these aspects
 Evaluate the aspects (quantify them)
 Select the significant aspects (use a criteria)
 Define EMPs for the significant aspects.
 Review your “Aspect Impact Register” periodically &
before adding of an activity, product or service to your
operation.

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Do not forget
Supporting Services
Environmental aspects relate not
only to manufacturing processes,
but also to activities by support
services such as:
» research and development
» design and engineering
» transport and storage of raw
materials
» storage and transport of product
» packaging
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Supporting Services (Cont’d)

» construction and maintenance


» office work
» laboratory
» cafeteria
» security and emergency response
» clean-up services
» purchasing, shipping/ receiving,
stores
» contractor and supplier activities

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Aspects Identification
 Form a small team of interdisciplinary
personnel
 Have the list of activities, products & services
with you
 Use a “process approach” to identify aspects
& impacts
 A plant round before this exercise helps.
 Referring to MSDS during the exercise helps

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How do I recognize an aspect?
Air
Emissions

Dirty
Parts Solvent Cleaning Clean
Process Parts
Solvents

Dirty Solvent
Solvent Contaminated
Waste Rags
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I work in an Office,
How does this apply to me?

Requests
Reports
Office Work
Electricity,
Paper,
Heating/
Cooling
Toner Waste Paper,
Cartridges Solid Waste
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Process approach
Performance indicators
Ownership

Inputs Process Outputs

Resources
Controls

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Aspects Identification (Cont’d)
 In practice, each operation will have a more
detailed breakdown of tasks, for each of which
there will be environmental aspects and impacts
 Environmental impacts need to be more detailed
than illustrated here, e.g., specify type of water
contamination (BOD, suspended solids, pH, toxic
organics, metals, etc.), and air (carbon dioxide,
sulphur or nitrogen oxides, particulate, etc.)

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Example
What is a Significant
only Environmental Impact?

One where the risk to the environment


is above a threshold level
Define a criteria for the threshold level
 Risk = Probability x Severity
 where:
» probability reflects frequency / likelihood
» Severity reflects both magnitude and
public perception

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Impacts on
Consider:
 Land, water, air
 Flora fauna
 Society (local community)
 Interested parties
 Political climate
 Foreign perspectives

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Factors to Consider
 Environmental Concerns such as:
» The scale of the impact
» The severity of impact
» The probability of impact
» Duration of impact
 Business Concerns such as:
» Potential regulatory and legal exposure
» Technology and cost of changing the impact
» Effect of change on other activities and processes
» Concerns of interested parties
» Effect on the public image of the organization

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Assessment Procedure
 Brain-storming method is best,
» Assemble a group of knowledgeable
individuals
» Brainstorm ideas on each criterion for
consequence and frequency
» Put each idea on a blackboard
» Consolidate ideas on each topic
» Each person assigns a score (1-5)
» Use mean score of the group in
significance table

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Concluding Thoughts
Important points to remember are:
 Have a systematic process for identifying all
environmental aspects and impacts
 Clearly assign responsibility, authority, and
accountability for the process
 Include:
» start-up and shut-down conditions
» emergency situations
» other types of potential abnormal conditions
» previous activities at the site

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Concluding Thoughts (Cont’d)

Additional points to remember are:


 Then assess risks to identify which
are significant impacts and aspects
 Define criteria for assessing
significance
 Define frequency with which
environmental aspects will be
reviewed (i.e., keep them up to date)

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Concluding Thoughts (Cont’d)

More points to remember are:


 Review environmental aspects
whenever there is a change to any
raw material, process, product, or
activity
 ISO 14001 does not specify
documenting environmental
aspects and impacts, but in practice
it must be done

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Any Questions ?

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