An Environmental Management System (EMS) is a framework that helps an organization achieve its individual environmental goals through consistent review, evaluation, and improvement of its environmental performance. An EMS helps an organization address its regulatory requirements in a systematic and cost-effective manner; it can help reduce the risk of non-compliance and improve health and safety practices for employees and the public. ISO 14002-1:2019—Environmental Management Systems – Guidelines For Using ISO 14001 To Address Environmental Aspects And Conditions Within An Environmental Topic Area – Part 1: General presents generic guidance and establishes a framework for common elements to guide the development of topic-specific parts in ISO 14001:2015—Environmental Management Systems – Requirements With Guidance For Use.
What Is the ISO 14002 Series?
The ISO 14002 series provides topic-specific guidance and examples for organizations that want to apply their environmental management system to a more focused set of environmental aspects or a combination of specific environmental aspects and environmental conditions. The series supplements the general requirements and guidance in ISO 14001 and ISO 14004. You can learn more about these ISO 14000 standards in the following blog posts: ISO 14001:2015 – Environmental Management Systems Requirements and ISO 14004:2016 Revision.
The first part of the ISO 14002 series is ISO 14002-1:2019, which constitutes a framework for common elements of subsequent parts of the series. The subsequent parts of the series will provide a holistic approach on how to use ISO 14001 in relation to a particular area of interest for environmental management. ISO 14002-2:2023, for example, gives general guidelines for organizations seeking to address water-related environmental aspects.
ISO 14004 offers general guidance on establishing and implementing the ISO 14001 framework, but is not designed to address an organization’s specific environmental aspects, issues, or areas of interest. It is also not intended to provide interpretations of the requirements of ISO 14001. The ISO 14002 series, on the other hand, provides a holistic approach on how to use ISO 14001 in relation to a particular area of interest for environmental management.
What Is ISO 14002-1?
ISO 14002-1:2019 gives general guidelines for organizations seeking to systematically manage environmental aspects or respond to the effects of changing environmental conditions within one or more environmental topic areas, based on ISO 14001. While this standard does not address every clause of ISO 14001, the clauses are in the same order and are consistent with a Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) approach. The standard also constitutes a framework for common elements of subsequent parts of the ISO 14002 series.
What Environmental Actions Can an Organization Take?
ISO 14002-1:2019 maintains that an organization can apply the following environmental actions (independently or in combination):
- Setting environmental objectives at strategic, tactical, or operational levels for system or performance improvement
- Establishing operational controls, including process and design changes as well as engineering and administrative controls
- Monitoring and measurement to assess environmental performance and conditions, or to check at the system or process level to determine whether desired results are being achieved
- Enhancing skills or knowledge of persons whose work can affect or can be affected by the environmental topic area
- Communicating to raise awareness or provide assurance to interested parties
Reasons for Implementing an Environmental Management System (EMS)
The environmental benefits for implementing an Environmental Management System (EMS) are clear: decreased pollution, decreased resource depletion, environmental awareness, less waste to landfill, energy efficiency, and so on. An EMS is not only about the environment. It is also about assessing and reducing risks. Hence, any kind of organization can benefit from implementing an EMS. Here are several considerations for why a company would want to implement an EMS:
- Reduced cost: With an increased focus on energy efficiency and waste management, an EMS helps companies improve their operating efficiency, which reduces costs. An EMS will also help a company become legally compliant, reducing the risk of fines and adverse publicity.
- Achieve certification and/or accreditation for improved competitive advantage: By achieving a certification and/or accreditation, an organization can gain a competitive advantage but also access to frameworks, approved suppliers lists, improved market share, greater employee awareness about the environment, etc.
- Prove a thorough understanding of your organization’s processes: By going through an extensive investigation of the environmental impacts, a company can gain a greater understanding of its processes and gain an in-depth understanding of them in order to drive environmental improvements.
- Management of risk: To understand an organization’s environmental aspect (hazards to the environment, such as air pollution, chemical spills, etc.,), the organization has to look at its impacts and ways to improve or control the impact that they have on the environment from those aspects.
ISO 14002-1:2019—Environmental Management Systems – Guidelines For Using ISO 14001 To Address Environmental Aspects And Conditions Within An Environmental Topic Area – Part 1: General is available on the ANSI Webstore. The standard is also available in the ISO 14002 – Environmental Management Systems Package