Time is Ticking! Are You Ready? Reply

Facilities currently registered to ISO 14001:2004 have only until September 15, 2018 to transition to the updated ISO 14001:2015 standard.  Now is the time to get things in motion!  See the steps outlined below to get there.

ISO 14K Graphic

Time and attention will be needed to make the transition and to get staff accustomed the changes which are required by the 2015 version of the standard. A thorough transition can take months to complete.  Do you have the changes covered?

CAPACCIO can help!  We have staff who are experienced in developing and tweaking the elements of your existing EMS to meet the new 2015 requirements and ensure they effectively integrate with other systems.

If your ISO 14001:2015 system is ready, an internal system audit is required prior to the external registration audit. Our experienced auditors are available to assist to help ensure your organization meets updated systems requirements and that it functions most effectively for you.  Our staff has also participated in external registrar audits and can guide you through the process.

CAPACCIO has the knowledge and can be an extra set of hands to ensure you do not miss this critical deadline!  Our staff is experienced with the new system requirements and can provide an independent evaluation of your revised EMS and can advise regarding any issues with conformance to the new requirements as well as help ensure your systems are setup and functioning in a meaningful and effective manner for the best EMS and related business performance.

To avoid a gap in registration, let CAPACCIO help.  Please contact Linda Swift at 978-621-6433 or lswift@capaccio.com with questions or for help in your ISO 14001:2015 transition.

ISO 50001 Standard Published Reply

You can now manage your energy conservation program or lower your greenhouse gas emissions by using a new international standard, ISO 50001.  This new ISO Management System Standard for Energy has all of the same “plan-do-check-act” provisions of the ISO 14001 Environmental Management System. 

To save on the cost required to implement and certify a new management system, some companies are choosing to instead integrate the key energy management features of the ISO 50001 standard into their existing ISO 14001 or ISO 9001 management systems. Also, if a customer is not requiring certification to this standard, companies can use the integration option to achieve certification to ISO 14001 while seeking “verification” of the use of the energy management components.  It is also possible to self-certify to the ISO 50001 standard through this integration option. 

Should you choose to implement or integrate the new ISO 50001 Energy Management System Standard, CAPACCIO can help you make decisions on the options you have regarding the use of this new international energy management standard and guide you through the process.

For more information, contact Wayne Bates at 508.970-0033 ext. 121 or wbates@capaccio.com.

Conducting a Sustainability Assessment Reply

Every business has a number of sustainability practices already in place.  Because the practices are spread across many operating functions, it may be difficult to identify all of them.  We often compare this to the tiles in a game of “Scrabble.”  You find the sustainability practices that you have in place, and then you strive to make sense with them.  In Scrabble, you select the tiles and then arrange them on a board to make words.  You link the words to other words to score more points.  Your sustainability program activities need to be ordered similarly in a transparent way to contribute value to your organization. 

Instead of the Scrabble board, you could use an integrated management system to help organize your sustainability effort.  With the introduction of ISO 26000 (social responsibility standard), it is easier than ever to integrate all three responsibilities (environmental stewardship, social well being and economic prosperity) into a single program.  This new guidance provides some of the program elements that need to be searched for within the scope of a sustainability assessment. 

CAPACCIO uses a pre-visit questionnaire to help an organization locate the sources of information, in order to determine activities and processes that address each of these responsibilities.  By conducting a site visit, it is possible to get a good picture of the current state of the sustainability program.  The components of an integrated management system help to identify the gaps in the program.  Sometimes there are not any gaps at all.  This information just resides in different functions in the company and the activities just have not been communicated internally.  The integrated management system provides a framework for both internal and external communications.  It also inventories the environmental, social and economic elements that should be captured in this program.

It is very important to have a complete sustainability baseline before attempting to benchmark the program with competitors and customers.  We always find more program elements than are captured in the pre-visit questionnaire.  This is why it is prudent to have a different set of eyes involved in the sustainability assessment.  You need someone that can communicate with all of the functional managers involved in the efforts.  There is no “one-size-fits-all” list to use for the interviews.  An experienced sustainability assessor will often find pertinent activities that are not on the “checklist.”

Once you begin to see the sustainability activities, you can form teams to link them just as you do in a game of Scrabble.  By increasing the value of sustainability to the organization, there will be a drive to fill the gaps and create yet more links.  It is now possible to create a “roadmap” to improve the program and getting more people involved.  All this – thanks to ISO 26000 guidance.

 

New ISO Handbook/CD Package Unveils ISO 14001 for Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises 2

As more companies begin to track environmental issues through the supply chain, there is a growing need to address environmental management at small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).  The automotive industry required its supply chain to certify to ISO 14001, however, other industries are not quick to follow suit even though ISO 14001 certification now stands at nearly 250,000 companies in 2009 – an increase of 18% over the previous year. 

ISO has issued a handbook and CD designed in the form of a checklist to guide the SME in asking and answering a series of questions regarding the environmental activities of their organization.  The checklist is in 16 parts.  Each part covers a particular ISO 14001 requirement and begins with an explanation of the requirement as well as guidance on how to incorporate this guidance into an EMS that meets the needs of the organization and, perhaps, its customer.  The CD provides the convenience of electronic navigation through the requirements and enables responses to each question to be saved and then printed in pdf format.  This could provide evidence to the customer that there has been progress in implementing an EMS.

It is well known that companies have improved their operations and reduced the impact of their activities, processes, products, and services on the environment by using a systematic approach that seeks continual improvement. The benefits of addressing environmental issues, however,  not only cover protection of the environment, but are also linked to business performance and profitability while improving the company’s image, enhancing access to export markets, providing a common reference for communicating environmental issues with customers, regulators, the public and a host of other stakeholders.  So, what’s not to like!

SMEs are afraid of the cost associated with implementing an ISO 14001 program.  Even while there is an eventual payback associated with the efforts, there will be a considerable amount of up-front money.  They know that they will have to purchase the standard and make a lot of changes in how they operate.  Believing that one has to be certified in order to get credit for using ISO 14001 keeps many companies from considering this important standard.  They only need to certify if a customer requires certification.  Using a checklist could be of value even if the ultimate aim is not third-party certification of the standard.  To order this checklist, you can go to the ISO website:  http://www.iso.org/iso/publications_and_e-products/checklists.htm#PUB100268 

 Some companies are taking a more direct approach with the SMEs in their supply chain.  A consulting firm is hired to perform a gap assessment at each facility in the first tier.  The suppliers will realize that they are already doing many of the things that are required for an ISO 14001-conforming EMS.  It might be easier for them to use the recommendations for improvement to assemble a sound EMS.  In time, the SME will have a viable EMS in place.  At that time, they can decide to use ISO 14001 to check their own system for conformance.  The customer can have a “second party audit” performed to help the SME further improve its program.  All of this can be accomplished without ever seeking third party certification. 

There are a number of internet resources available to SMEs when their customer does not get directly involved as described above.  No matter what the motivation, SMEs can gain some significant recognition from their customers by paying attention to their EMS.