Management systems

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    Are your management system documents out of control? Are your management system documents out of control?

    Are your management system documents out of control?

Are your management system documents out of control?

At last there’s a 21st C solution! Long gone are the “typing pool” days of the 70’s and 80’s. The 90’s heralded the age of the “E document”, predominantly Microsoft Word and Excel. There was a shift away from the massive archives of printed materials that waste paper and create a fire hazard. But this leap forward came with a downside. We all know that the enhanced ability to create, modify and transmit documents quickly has encouraged excessive documentation coupled with the ongoing challenge of controlling and keeping them up to date. What typically happens? People access an earlier, superseded version Records are inadvertently deleted or lost There are too many forms to fill in and registers to update People have difficultly finding a particular document People print documents or copy the “controlled” version onto their desktop Any of this sound familiar? This year, the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO), […]

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    Do you possess these 7 leadership qualities? Do you possess these 7 leadership qualities?

    Do you possess these 7 leadership qualities?

Do you possess these 7 leadership qualities?

  Leadership is the process of leading for change rather than stability. Great leaders possess a set of abilities that enable them to recognise the need for change, create a vision to guide that change, and execute the change effectively. The challenges posed by globalisation, resource depletion, growing global population and climate change present an urgent need for a shift from business-as-usual. A special type of leader is needed to tackle these complex issues and embed sustainability thinking into every business decision. According to Poly Courtice, a Director of Cambridge University’s Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL), “A leader is someone who crafts a vision and inspires people to act collectively to make it happen, responding to whatever changes and challenges arise along the way. A sustainability leader is someone who inspires and supports action towards a better world.”        CISL’s research suggests the following seven key characteristic traits […]

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    The U-Factors: a new way to think about risk The U-Factors: a new way to think about risk

    The U-Factors: a new way to think about risk

The U-Factors: a new way to think about risk

JULY 2015 UPDATE The Final Draft International Standard (FDIS) of the Environmental Management Systems Standard, ISO14001:2015, was released on the 2nd July 2015. All requirements are now finalised and the rules allow for only editorial adjustments from now on. There are a number of changes to note between the Draft International Standard (DIS) and the FDIS. Of relevance to this original article, written last December, is the change in the definition of “risk” and the use of the words “threat” and “opportunity”. In the DIS, risk is defined as “the effect of uncertainty on objectives” but the FDIS omits the words “on objectives” from the definition. This has the effect of broadening the concept of uncertainty to cover all types of issues, not just those associated with objectives. The word “threat” was confusing and has been removed from many clauses. Instead the FDIS includes a new definition – “risks and […]

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    Are you managing your supply chain? Are you managing your supply chain?

    Are you managing your supply chain?

Are you managing your supply chain?

While presenting a series of one day courses on behalf of SAI Global entitled “Preparing for the transition to ISO14001:2015″ I became aware that one of the concepts in the Draft Standard is new to many people. Its the taking of a “life cycle perspective”.  So, what does this mean? A life cycle is defined in the Draft Standard as the consecutive and interlinked stages of a product system, from raw material acquisition or generation from natural resources to end-of-life treatment. Life cycle assessment has been around since the 1990’s and is often called the “cradle-to-grave” approach for assessing industrial systems. “Cradle-to-grave” begins with the gathering of raw materials from the earth to create the product and ends at the point when all materials are returned to the earth. LCA enables the estimation of the cumulative environmental impacts resulting from all stages in the product life cycle, often including impacts […]

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    What makes effective training? What makes effective training?

    What makes effective training?

What makes effective training?

Deciding how much and what type of environmental training to conduct in your workplace can be a daunting task. Here are 5 tips to guide you through the maze. 1. Focus on high risk Refer to the site’s Aspect Register or Risk Register to establish the workplace tasks that may cause a significant environmental impact. Determine the roles or job function of people commonly undertaking those tasks. There should be written procedures that outline the steps to take and the operating criteria that must be in place. These can form the basis of the training program. 2. Make the training measurable Develop competency criteria for each of the high risks tasks that may cause a significant impact. Ask “What should any person be able to do before they are allowed to work without supervision? What do they need to know? What level of language, literacy, and numeracy is required for […]

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    Opportunities emerge in carbon and energy Opportunities emerge in carbon and energy

    Opportunities emerge in carbon and energy

Opportunities emerge in carbon and energy

If one or more of your company’s facilities has some carbon and energy saving ideas that haven’t come to fruition, now is the time to firm up the program with quotes and calculations of CO2-e reduction potential. The 2015 financial year will offer smart companies the chance to benefit from new Federal Government rebates. While support for renewable energy generation has waned under the Coalition Government, recently released draft legislation has some interesting features to note. Consistent with Canberra’s intention to commence the Direct Action Plan following repeal of the carbon tax sometime later this year, the government released the Emission Reduction Fund White Paper earlier in May. Under this legislation a much wider range of people and businesses will be able to plan one or more emission reduction projects and enter into a contract to secure funding from the Federal government prior to implementation. The Clean Energy Regulator will […]

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    What the revised ISO14001 will mean for you What the revised ISO14001 will mean for you

    What the revised ISO14001 will mean for you

What the revised ISO14001 will mean for you

The international standard for Environmental Management Systems will soon enter the last stage of its 3 year review.  The new standard will be released in early 2015. For those interested in the timing and degree of change, the committee draft provides a good indication of key concepts emerging in the revision. The new version is intended to maintain and improve the basic principles and existing requirements of ISO14001:2004.  It is likely that the new elements and requirements, summarised below, will bolt on fairly easily to any ISO14001 based system. However the new clause numbers and structure could pose more of a challenge.  It is based on a new high level structure for Management System Standards, different from the “plan-do-check-act” principle that management system practitioners are familiar with. Changes we are likely to see include: Specific responsibilities for people in leadership roles to promote environmental management within the organisation. A new […]

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    A view from the inside A view from the inside

    A view from the inside

A view from the inside

Successful audits are a win-win for the community and for businesses wanting to prove to themselves and others that they do what they say they do . By examining a business from the inside out an auditor confirms that the company is meeting the expectations of all interested parties. Let’s think of the analogy of clothing. When garments are viewed from the outside in there may be a glossy brand image, attractive packaging, convenience features.  Only when the clothes are turned inside out do the seams, patterns and structure become visible and understood. What you see is the other side of the same thing. The garment hasn’t been deconstructed – just viewed in a different light, in all its reality, worts and all. The strengths and positives are seen and admired – the reinforced seams and new, unfaded materials and the creative effort gone into its design. But a closer […]

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