Organization’s Operational Planning and Control for EMS
Clause 8 of the requirements states that organizations are responsible to create, administer, control and maintain all process needed to meet their EMS, which includes actions that were defined in 6.1 and 6.2. For an organization to do this they must:
- Create operating principles for the process
- Put into action controls of the process in conformity of the operating principles
The organization is responsible for controlling planned changes and also review potential consequences of unintended changes. Organizations must mitigate any adverse effects as necessary. Additionally, the organization must also secure that outsourced processes are controlled or influenced. When creating the EMS, the type of control of influence to be applied should be defined.
The operation planning and control defined must be persistent with ISO 14001:2015 life cycle perspective, this should take into consideration:
- create controls in line with its environmental requirements to ensure that the design and development process for the product or service considers the life cycle stage
- define the environmental requirements for the procurement of products and services
- communicate all relevant environmental requirements to external providers which include contractors
- consider the need to provide information in regards to the end-of-life treatment of products and services with consideration in, transportation, delivery, use, and final disposal.
- maintain detailed documentation to ensure that the processes have been carried out as planned
In order to ensure that your environmental policy is followed and that your goals are being met, certain operations and activities within your organization need to be controlled. Each organization will be individual and are based on several factors such as: activities, legal obligations, and significant operational controls. As a result of each organization having its own environmental policy and plan, they must decide the best way to compose and combine processes to secure that total operational control of its environmental aspects is achieved.
These methods of establishing and enforcing controls must include developing processes that will provide consistent results for the company. All processes established by an organization must consider the life cycle of a product. Furthermore, the process established must ensure that personnel are qualified. All results must be monitored and measured, and organizations must decide on the amount of documented information required to support the above plan.
If an operation or activity is complex, and/or the environmental impacts have the potential to be significant, these controls put in place should take the form of documented procedures. To develop an effective EMS an organization must determine which operations should be covered by documented procedures and how those operations should be controlled.
It is also critical that an organization considers what parts of their operational control process is necessary to record as documented information. Training methods and records are mandatory. It may be necessary that processes of any complexity may need to be documented as well in order to maintain operational control to provide consistent products or services in regards to the EMS.