Top 5 Items Overlooked in Transitioning From 14001:2004 to 14001:2015

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August 29, 2016

1. Needs and Expectations of Interested Parties - the organization needs to determine what interested parties are relevant to the EMS. Once these are identified, the relevant needs and expectations of these interested parties need to be determined. The final step is for the organization to determine which of these interested party needs and expectations will become compliance obligations (think contractual, mandatory). These compliance obligations will need to be documented and should be considered when identifying risks and opportunities (see 6.1.3)

2. Identification of Risks and Opportunities - organizations need to determine their risks and opportunities related to the EMS. The risks and opportunities that need to be addressed need to be documented. If these risks are related to significant aspects, why not use these as objectives and plan for how you will address the risk? Remember risk is the ‘effect of uncertainty’. These risks can be related to interested parties, regulatory, compliance, environmental conditions, or even significant aspects.

3. Environmental Aspects - when determining environmental aspects, organizations need to take into account change, planned or new developments, and new or modified activities, products and services. The organization also needs to take into account abnormal conditions and reasonably foreseeable emergency situations (tornado, severe storm, hurricane, etc.) when identifying aspects. The organization cannot stop here, but needs to develop a process by which aspects are triggered to be identified when these situations occur. It is not advisable to count on memory recall to ensure aspects are determined when these changes occur, develop your system to ensure this action occurs at the appropriate time.

4. Environmental Objectives - must take into consideration the organizations significant aspects and associated compliance obligations, and considering risks and opportunities. How will you show that you have considered these criteria when developing your objectives? Each objective will need to have a plan for achieving the goal that identifies what will be done, what resources are needed, who is responsible, and when it will be completed. How the results will be evaluated must also be determined. If you are monitoring an item and no one is taking any actions to change the outcome, it most likely is not an environmental objective! In addition organizations need to show how achieving environmental objectives is integrated into business processes; how will you show this? Are results communicated in monthly meetings, monthly reporting, shift, meetings?

5. Operational Planning; Outsourcing - outsourced processes must be controlled or influenced. The EMS must define the type and extent of control or influence applied to the outsourced process The organization needs a process by which this is determined). Remember this is not about the quality of the outsourced process, but the environmental impact this outsourcing can have and potentially how it impacts the product life cycle. Think in terms of risk! How does your organization plan to meet this requirement?