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Aspects, impacts and assessments

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Guest user Created:   Jul 17, 2019 Last commented:   Jul 17, 2019

Aspects, impacts and assessments

I would like to ask about environmental aspect and impacts. What is the purpose of doing it? Is it in the part of ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management System?
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ISO 14001 DOCUMENTATION TOOLKIT

Step-by-step implementation for smaller companies.

ISO 14001 DOCUMENTATION TOOLKIT

Step-by-step implementation for smaller companies.

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Carlos Pereira da Cruz Jul 17, 2019

Answer:
What is the purpose of developing an Environmental Management System? To improve an organization’s interactions with the environment.
How does an organization interact with the environment?
Through its activities and products or services.
An organization’s environmental aspects are all those elements that interact with the environment through its activities, products or services. For example, an organization during production consumes energy, generates waste, generates noise, can generate air emissions and/or wastewater discharges.

https://www.screencast.com/t/Yh8sEL7i6X

Environmental impacts are the changes to the organization’s environment resulting from its environmental aspects.
ISO 14001:2015 clause 6.1.2 is about determining environmental aspects and impacts. I would say that determining environmental aspects and impacts is the corner stone of any E nvironmental Management System.

What are the steps in determining the environmental aspect and impacts?

Answer:
You should list all activities in your organization and then think about how each one interacts with the environment both under normal and abnormal conditions (check the risk in the image above).
Consider if it is relevant to go backwards and think about your suppliers’ aspects and impacts. If your decision is that there are some relevant aspects include them in your list. For example, a furniture manufacturer may consider timber’s provenance an important aspect because they want to avoid promoting illegal activities.
You should list all the ways your products or services interact with the environment. For example, during delivery, during use by the consumer, and even when it must be disposed after useful life. Remember the example of toys batteries – what will consumers do with them after use?

After listing all aspects, list all impacts, all consequences for the environment. Impacts are much more specific of each organization. For example, any car workshop generates waste oils. What is the final disposal of these oils? Some workshops send them for recycling or energy recovery, but one can throw it on the ground or in a water line. The environmental aspect is the same, the environmental impacts are completely different.

I also would like to know the difference between environmental impact assessment and environmental aspects and impacts.

Answer:
Environmental impact assessment is about analyzing and understanding the environmental implications of projects prior to construction. For example, a new airport must be built and there several possible locations. What can be the environmental consequences of building and operating an airport at each of those possible locations?

The following material will provide you more information about aspects and impacts:
Article - 4 steps in identification and evaluation of environmental aspects - https://advisera.com/14001academy/knowledgebase/4-steps-in-identification-and-evaluation-of-environmental-aspects/
Environmental aspect identification and classification - https://advisera.com/14001academy/blog/2019/08/27/key-iso-14001-benefits-to-customers/nowledgebase/environmental-aspect-identification-and-classification/
Free webinar - Free webinar - ISO 14001: Identification and evaluation of environmental aspects - https://advisera.com/14001academy/webinar/iso-14001-identification-and-evaluation-of-environmental-aspects-free-webinar/-evaluation-of-environmental-aspects-free-webinar-on-demand/
Enroll for free in this course – ISO 14001:2015 Foundations Course - https://training.advisera.com/se/iso-14001-internal-auditor-course/o-14001-foundations-course/
Book – The ISO 14001:2015 Companion - https://advisera.com/books/the-iso-14001-2015-companion/
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Jul 17, 2019

Jul 17, 2019

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