How to set up Environment objectives, targets and programme for ISO 14001

How to set up Environment objectives, targets and programme for ISO 14001
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Environmental objectives are the overall aims that your business sets itself to improve environmental performance through its environmental management system (EMS). They indicate your business’ aims regarding particular issues – for example, to reduce waste going to landfill by 25 per cent over five years.

Environmental targets provide short-term goals on the way to achieving these overall objectives. One objective can have several targets – for example, one target could be to reduce waste going to landfill by 10 per cent in the first year.

Your objectives and targets should be based on:

  • your environmental policy
  • your register of legislation
  • Training to be conducted
  • Long term Company Objectives
  • Suggestion from the customers.
  • Suggestion from the Auditors.

They should aim to address any significant environmental aspects and should incorporate specific legal requirements contained in regulations and consents.

When setting objectives and targets, it is important you:

  • identify the individual or department responsible for ensuring that they are met
  • identify someone to oversee the implementation of changes and check that targets are met
  • Ensure that the measures taken do not indirectly create another significant environmental aspect .
  • Indentify the tasks to be undertaken for completion of each target.

Setting SMART targets

When setting targets, you should keep in mind the SMART criteria. This means that all targets should be:

  • Specific – each target should address only one issue.
  • Measurable – your targets should be expressed quantitatively and in absolute terms – eg 10 per cent reduction per unit. Setting an overall energy reduction target of 10 per cent is vague and requires qualification, as there will be variables, such as the level of production.
  • Achievable – targets should be possible to meet for everyone involved.
  • Realistic – your targets should be challenging but not overly ambitious, as they can always be revised once they have been met.
  • Time-bound – your target must be assigned a deadline for attainment.

Continual improvement

To achieve certification to a formal EMS standard such as ISO 14001, you must demonstrate that you have taken steps towards achieving set objectives and targets. You must also have a management plan and a monitoring programme and keep records of your monitoring regimes.

Environment Management plan and Progress Monitoring report

The tasks which are indentified during the setting up of objectives and targets are then monitored for their completion.

For the completion of each task, responsibility and completion date is assigned. The Management Representative is expected to ensure verification of the documents. If any preventive Corrective and preventive actions are required, at regular interval monitoring checks are conducted to check the status of implementation and records of it are maintained.

The progress of the Environment management Plan is monitored in the Progress Monitoring Report. Also MR shall take appropriate actions in case of any deviations in above EMP.

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