24.3.1 Environmental Aspects “The organization shall establish and maintain (a) procedure(s) to identify the environmental aspects of its activities, products, or services that it can control and over which it can be expected to have an influence, in order to determine those which have or can have significant impacts on the environment. The organization shall ensure that the aspects related to these significant impacts are considered in settings its environmental objectives.The organization shall keep this information up-to-date.”
3Core Elements of EMSMost other elements are directly associated with results from identifying and ranking aspects and their associated impacts:Objectives and TargetsManagement ProgramTraining/AwarenessOperational ControlEmergency preparednessMonitoring and measuringCorrective and Preventative ActionAuditingI think it is important to emphasize that the company should be prepared to spend quality time on this element. Most other activities during the implementation of the EMS will be directly related to results from this effort. Facilities should try and not get discouraged by the time required for this element, it is one of the most time consuming.
4Definition of Aspect / Impact Environmental aspect (cause or input)element of organizations activities, products, or services which can interact with the environment.Environmental impact (effect or output)any change to the environment whether adverse or beneficial, wholly or partially resulting from an organization’s activities, products, or servicesI thought it would be good to start off with the definition of aspects and impacts and provide some examples before we get to far into the presentation.
5Aspect and Impact Example Activity, Product, ServiceAspectImpactBoiler OperationsAir emissionsAir pollutionFuel consumptionNatural resource depletionBoiler blowdownWater pollutionWater consumption
6Step One Establish a team. Examples: representative of QA/QC, maintenance, utilities, production divisions, office, environmental, etc.Educate the team on purpose and implications of identifying aspects and impacts.Include general training on EMS’s and ISOThis team may already be established for the development of the complete EMS or may be one that needs to be organized for this specific element.While some organizations have had one or two personnel to evaluate the environmental aspects and impacts, it is important to share the responsibility of the effort. Although having a larger team may require more upfront effort the results of the evaluation may be more useful and more broadly understood. This activity will help individuals from various departments or divisions of the organization step back and develop a better understanding of the true impacts of its activities. Also it will help to have a diverse background when evaluating significance of all these impacts.The team will need to be educated on definitions of and responsibilities related to developing a ranking of env. aspects and impacts. The next slides address issues that will be important for the team members to understand.The team will need to develop a methodology for identifying and ranking aspects and impacts. This procedure is not required to be documented but it would be extremely useful to document.
7Purpose and Implications Determining the significant environmental aspects and associated impacts allows a facility to focus its time and resources on those issues with the greatest potential for environmental impact.The Ems team should be made aware that this process allows management to more effectively reduce potential environmental impacts through focusing resources on the activities with the greatest potential for environmental harm.
8Purpose and Implications The evaluation of environmental aspects and their associated impacts should be primarily “fenceline” issues.3.12 Definition of organization will establish “fenceline” or boundaries.Internal issues should not be aprimary focus unless health andsafety are included in managementsystem.Defining the organization to which the EMS will apply is an important for step in EMS development for the aspect element as well as all the others. The primary aspects and associated environmental impacts are typically evaluated in terms of their impact across the boundaries or fenceline of the organization as opposed to internal issues.Thus small spills that occur within the fenceline and do not impact area outside fenceline through surface water, groundwater. land disposal, air etc. are not a primary area of focus.Obviously if the facility include health and safety within the EMS this will include internal issues
9Purpose and Implications The organization only has to identify those environmental aspects that it “can control and over which it can be expected to have influence”.Control includes fiscal control (financial ability that can affect aspect) and organizational control (decision making authority that can effect aspect)The facility should not spend resources assessing aspects it cannot do anything about.
10Purpose and Implications The significant environmental aspects that are identified will determine how other elements of the standard are fulfilled:Operational proceduresEducation, competence and training of employees whose activities affect these aspects.Monitoring and measuring techniques.It is important for the team to keep in mind that the significant aspects they identify will impact the activities required to meet other elements.For example:The team should not rank items as significant just because they know there are environmental controls for it or that they can implement an easy objective and target for it because they will end up having to also monitor and measure this aspect, train employees on it, and develop procedures for activities related to it. Thus, the facility will create a lot more work for itself as related to other elements that won’t necessarily improve its environmental performance in relation to its true significant environmental aspects.
11Step Two Identify Aspects / Impacts Select an activity, a product or service.Identify as many environmental aspects as possible associated with the selected activity.Identify as many actual and potential, positive and negative, environmental impacts associated with each identified aspect.Each team member should be responsible for identifying environmental aspects of the activities in the assigned area.The selected activity should be large enough for meaningful examination and small enough to be understood.It is important to consider the aspects and impacts that do not normally occur as well as the aspects that cause positive impacts.
12Example Aspect / Impact Form The team will find it extremely useful to develop a universal form for collecting information on aspects and associated impacts of specified activities. During the process of gathering this information, team members should also identify whether the aspects has current controls or not. Additional information may be collected that will prove useful during other elements. For example, can improvements be made to controls, information on waste volume or usage data that can prove useful during significance determination, etc.
13Identifying Aspects of Activities ActivityInputs:Raw materialElectricityWaterOutputs:Finished productExhaustWaste productsIt may prove useful for team member to identify inputs and outputs from specific activities to help identify environmental aspects
14Identifying Aspects and Impacts Aspects of activities that should be considered include:Emissions to air / releases to waterSurface and groundwaterWaste disposal / land contaminationRaw material / natural resource useenergy, water, chemicals, lumber, etc.Local environmental / community issuesnoise, odor, land use, appearance, etc.
15Sources of information process flow diagraminput/output (mass balance)regulatory reportsutility billsQC information (defects, product changes)waste hauling recordspurchasing receiptsrecords of external communication
16Aspects and Impacts - Feedback What did your facility do?Are you finished identifying aspects/impacts?How many did you identify?
17Step Three Identify significant aspects Develop a definition of significance and determine what factors will be considered in determining significanceShould involve input from top managementEstablish a rating scheme for the factors of significanceIt is important for top management to be involved in determining what the organization defines as significant.
18Factors to Consider Environmental Concerns such as: The scale of the impactThe severity of impactThe probability of impactDuration of impactBusiness Concerns such as:Potential regulatory and legal exposureDifficulty and cost of changing the impactEffect of change on other activities and processesConcerns of interested partiesEffect on the public image of the organizationThere are many factors for the team to consider when developing the criteria of what is considered significant both in terms of the environment and business operations.
19Significance Criteria Example Rating SchemeSignificance CriteriaRating SchemeLegal Liabilities: Is the aspect regulatedLow (1): Issue not regulatedMedium (2): Violation or possible fineHigh (3): Criminal ActionPublic Concern: Has the Public ever expressed concern about the aspectLow (1): neverMedium (2): sometimesHigh (3): OftenFrequency: What is the overall frequency or probability of the aspects impactLow (1): less than once a yearMedium (2): Between 1/mn and 1/yrHigh (3): Occurs monthly or more freq.Severity: What is the overall severity of the aspects impactLow (1): impact aesthetic, amenityMedium (2): impact water, air, soil qualityHigh (3): detrimental to human, flora faunaOnce the team has identified that factors or criteria it will need to develop a rating scheme that defines for the team member when to apply a specific value or indicator to the aspect and associated impact.
20Example Significance Matrix Activity, Product, ServiceAspectImpactLegal LiabilityPublic ConcernFrequencySeverityOSRSignificance(OSR>2.5)Dissolve MineralOreWater useResourcedepletion1321.75NoNatural GasUseResource depletion1.50Air pollution (Nox)Use of Strong AcidsSpills to land or water2.75YesThe team will rank the aspects and impacts for each criteria using the rating scheme. This effort should be evaluated as a group at some point so that all members have an understanding and can offer input into how items are scored.
21Dames and Moore Significance Determination Included Health and Safety in their EMS: EHSWhy?:Leverage clear relationship b/w H&S and Env. impactsTo prioritize H&S and improve performanceOrganizational convenienceNOTE: Don’t recommend including H&S during implementationOrganized in form of a consequence and frequency matrix
29Ranking Environmental Aspects: Example Procedures and Lists City of Gastonia, NCCity of Charleston, SCCity of Scottsdale, AZ
30Additional Resources ISO 14004 See DPPEA websiteRefer to Alcoa and Uniroyal Chemical Co. EMS Manuals on our website, others:Coaches – ask if you would like help on aspect/impact identification and rankingRoad maps
31From the EMS Team Meeting to determining significance Effective Meeting/Group Project Management HandbookRemember to take notes at EMS Team meetings: how did you agree to determine aspects/impacts, ranking?Use discussion techniques listed to determine what factors you will use to rank aspects: brainstorming, multivoting, nominal group consensus, reaching consensusWrite the procedures
32Exercise: Determining Significance What factors do you think are important for determining significance? List at least 15Vote on three each
33Expectations of Participants: Your BACK PACK! Be enthusiasticAttend all coursesComplete homework and bring to courseKeep in touch with your coachPersevereAsk for helpBe CreativeKeep developing your EMS between course meetings and after the course ends
34Willingness - to learn and participate EMS Team Members: Add some WATER to your backpacks!Willingness - to learn and participateAgenda - so everyone is preparedTalking stick – so everyone knows theground rules for meetingsEnergy and Enthusiasm – no such thing as too muchRole understanding – for each participant, for both EMS meetings and for EMS design and implementation
35Road Maps Don’t go hacking through the jungle, follow the Yellow Brick RoadSee Guides – Online ResourcesIEMSImplementation Guide for Small and Medium-Sized BusinessesEnvironmental Aspects Identification – activities list (fishbone diagram) – Suzanne Sessoms, August 28Gap analysis (initial environmental review) See GEMI handout – John Burke
36Homework Assignment For next course meeting (Nov. 13): Complete identification of aspects and impactsRank aspects and impactsDetermine significant aspects and impacts
37If you get stuck. . . . . . Ask for help! On-line Resources Your Coach – ask them to help you!DPPEA StaffDPPEA’s free EMS trainingDPPEA’s free, non-regulatory waste assessments