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Monday, 19 November 2012

ISO 14001 and Hurricane Sandy

There are a growing number of people who are convinced that the freak weather patterns we have been experiencing are down to global warming.  In the UK we have had a severe drought followed by the wettest summer for a hundred years . In the USA hurricane Sandy caused immense damage even when it was downgraded to a storm. 

The President of the United States of America has even admitted that global warming is a reality; it may be that  a pollution reduction plan is on the cards throughout the USA.

In Europe reduction in pollution and recycling has been a feature for many years and an increasing number of industries are adopting the Environmental  Standard  ISO 14001:2004.

Put simply  14001 requires an organisation to address the four 'R's:

Reduce - energy consumption

Recycle - paper, plastics, metal, glass etc

Reuse - refurbish and where possible give it a second life

Repair - fix it don’t throw it away

In addition they must have an EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE PLAN.  The organisation should identify those activities which could potentially impact on the environment if an accident or emergency situation arises.

The organisation should be able to respond to emergencies & accidents and review and revise procedures with the view to mitigating the environmental impacts that are associated with them.

Many organisations are responding to the need for quality and environmental by installing ISO 9001 (Quality) and ISO 14001 (Environmental) Management systems. 

It is becoming the norm when completing quotations and tenders to be asked if you have these Standards in place. if The answer is 'YES' then you just tick the boxes.   If the answer is 'NO; then it requires a lengthy set of questions to be answered.

I suspect that if the shortlist contains companies with the two Standards and companies without them, then those with 9001 and 14001 are going to have a greater chance of success.

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