Achieving a balance between the environment, society and the economy is considered essential to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. Sustainable development as a goal is achieved by balancing the three pillars of sustainability.
Societal expectations for sustainable development, transparency and accountability have evolved with increasingly stringent legislation, growing pressures on the environment from pollution, inefficient use of resources, improper waste management, climate change, degradation of ecosystems and loss of biodiversity.
This has led organizations to adopt a systematic approach to environmental management by implementing environmental management systems with the aim of contributing to the environmental pillar of sustainability.
0.2 Aim of an environmental management system
The purpose of this International Standard is to provide organizations with a framework to protect the environment and respond to changing environmental conditions in balance with socio-economic needs. It specifies requirements that enable an organization to achieve the intended outcomes it sets for its environmental management system.
A systematic approach to environmental management can provide top management with information to build success over the long term and create options for contributing to sustainable development by:
- protecting the environment by preventing or mitigating adverse environmental impacts;
- mitigating the potential adverse effect of environmental conditions on the organization;
- assisting the organization in the fulfilment of compliance obligations;
- enhancing environmental performance;
- controlling or influencing the way the organization’s products and services are designed, manufactured, distributed, consumed and disposed by using a life cycle perspective that can prevent environmental impacts from being unintentionally shifted elsewhere within the life cycle;
- achieving financial and operational benefits that can result from implementing environmentally sound alternatives that strengthen the organization’s market position;
- communicating environmental information to relevant interested parties.
This International Standard, like other International Standards, is not intended to increase or change an organization’s legal requirements.
0.3 Success factors
The success of an environmental management system depends on commitment from all levels and functions of the organization, led by top management. Organizations can leverage opportunities to prevent or mitigate adverse environmental impacts and enhance beneficial environmental impacts, particularly those with strategic and competitive implications. Top management can effectively address its risks and opportunities by integrating environmental management into the organization’s business processes, strategic direction and decision making, aligning them with other business priorities, and incorporating environmental governance into its overall management system. Demonstration of successful implementation of this International Standard can be used to assure interested parties that an effective environmental management system is in place.
Adoption of this International Standard, however, will not in itself guarantee optimal environmental outcomes. Application of this International Standard can differ from one organization to another due to the context of the organization. Two organizations can carry out similar activities but can have different compliance obligations, commitments in their environmental policy, environmental technologies and environmental performance goals, yet both can conform to the requirements of this International Standard.
The level of detail and complexity of the environmental management system will vary depending on the context of the organization, the scope of its environmental management system, its compliance obligations, and the nature of its activities, products and services, including its environmental aspects and associated environmental impacts.
0.4 Plan-Do-Check-Act model
The basis for the approach underlying an environmental management system is founded on the concept of Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA). The PDCA model provides an iterative process used by organizations to achieve continual improvement. It can be applied to an environmental management system and to each of its individual elements. It can be briefly described as follows.
- Plan: establish environmental objectives and processes necessary to deliver results in accordance with the organization’s environmental policy.
- Do: implement the processes as planned.
- Check: monitor and measure processes against the environmental policy, including its commitments, environmental objectives and operating criteria, and report the results.
- Act: take actions to continually improve.
Figure 1 shows how the framework introduced in this International Standard could be integrated into a PDCA model, which can help new and existing users to understand the importance of a systems approach.
Figure 1 — Relationship between PDCA and the framework in this International Standard
This International Standard specifies the requirements for an environmental management system that an organization can use to enhance its environmental performance. This International Standard is intended for use by an organization seeking to manage its environmental responsibilities in a systematic manner that contributes to the environmental pillar of sustainability.
This International Standard helps an organization achieve the intended outcomes of its environmental management system, which provide value for the environment, the organization itself and interested parties. Consistent with the organization’s environmental policy, the intended outcomes of an environmental management system include:
— enhancement of environmental performance;
— fulfilment of compliance obligations;
— achievement of environmental objectives.
This International Standard is applicable to any organization, regardless of size, type and nature, and applies to the environmental aspects of its activities, products and services that the organization determines it can either control or influence considering a life cycle perspective. This International Standard does not state specific environmental performance criteria.
This International Standard can be used in whole or in part to systematically improve environmental management. Claims of conformity to this International Standard, however, are not acceptable unless all its requirements are incorporated into an organization’s environmental management system and fulfilled without exclusion.
- Normative References (No Normative References)
- Terms and Definitions
- Context of the Organization
4.1. Understanding the Organization and Its Context
4.2. Understanding the Needs and Expectations of Interested Parties
4.3. Determining the Scope of the Environmental Management System
4.4. Environmental Management System
5.1. Leadership and Commitment
5.3. Organizational Roles, Responsibilities and Authorities
6.1. Actions to Address Risks and Opportunities
6.1.2. Identification of Environmental Aspects and Impacts
6.1.3. Determination of Compliance Obligations
6.1.4. Determining Significant Environmental Aspects and Organizational Risks and Opportunities
6.1.5. Planning to Take Action
6.2. Environmental Objectives and Planning to Achieve Them
6.2.1. Environmental Objectives
6.2.2. Planning to Achieve Objectives
7.4.2. Internal Communication
7.4.3. External Communication and Reporting
7.5. Documented Information
7.5.2. Creating and Updating
7.5.3. Control of Documented Information
8.1. Operational Planning and Control
8.2. Value Chain Planning and Control
8.3. Emergency Preparedness and Response
- Performance Evaluation
9.1. Monitoring, Measurement, Analysis and Evaluation
9.1.2. Evaluation of Compliance
9.2. Internal Audit
9.3. Management Review
10.1. Non-Conformity and Corrective Action
10.2. Continual Improvement
Mochammad Aulia Rinadi