Home Resources Blog May 2015

60 Seconds with Richard Walsh

11 May 2015
Richard Walsh explains a commonly adopted approach behind the more successful environmental management systems.


Richard Walsh

Audits against

ISO 9001:2008, ISO 14001:2004, ISO 50001:2011, EcoCampus, National Highway Sector Scheme 18

Most memorable auditing moment

Undertaking the transfer assessment to bring DEFRA on board as an NQA ISO 14001 client and subsequently assessing DECC to the same standard. I personally find it a great honour to be trusted to assess the two main Government departments responsible for UK Sustainable Development against the requirements of ISO 14001.

Most common non-conformance

The most common non-conformance I encounter is maintenance, completion and availability of documents and records required to demonstrate legislative compliance.  Two main areas:

  • Waste duty of care documents detailing incorrect or missing waste codes, missing hazardous waste premises codes, missing signatures and missing quarterly hazardous waste returns.

  • Air-con and process chiller service records not in line with the requirements of the F-Gas regulations in terms of leak testing. This has of course been further complicated by the additional requirements and factors used in the 2015 version of the regulations.

Outside of this documentation issue, closely following would be the issue of incorrect waste segregation and the bunding of oil stored externally.

Greatest client benefit gained from ISO certification

Increasingly management systems are used partly as a risk management tool. The 2015 version of ISO 14001 will require companies to assess the risks and opportunities associated with their key environmental aspects. The more successful environmental management systems that I have assessed are already using this approach. Additional benefits also include:

  • Cost savings in energy use, waste, material consumption and increased recycling

  • Advantage over competitors when tendering for business

  • Management of environmental risks including compliance with environmental regulations

Top tip for getting the most from your management system

Ownership of your own system is vital. The 2015 versions of both 9001 and 14001 will require a greater emphasis on senior management leadership along with an integration of the systems into the normal day to day workings of the business along with a stronger link between the organisation’s business plan and management system objectives.