Do You Want to Know the Gaps in Your Environmental Management System?

An insider’s guide to gap analysis

A manufacturing client of ours needed assistance in meeting its obligatory requirements for its Environmental Management System (EMS) based on the International Organisation Standards 14001 (ISO 14001).

Our client already developed a Safety Management System (SMS) and it just needed assistance integrating its EMS into an overarching Health, Safety and Environmental (HSE) Management System ensuring all International Standards were met.

The task at hand was to place a full-time consultant on-site, conducting on-site interviews with key personnel, reviewing relevant data and performing cursory site inspections. By implementing this immersive strategy, it enabled us to identify any gaps in our client’s existing EMS and in its SMS from the point of ‘environment’ being integrated within it.

Key steps in the analysis process:

  • Understand the client’s needs and how we can work together (e.g. data requests and interviews of site personnel);
  • Spend time on-site and understand where the gaps are;
  • Develop an output that works for the client (and they can use it to develop its integrated HSE management system).
                                       EMS LIfecycle     
             @Gettyimages

How was it done?

After understanding how the company worked, the scope of work above was completed including the interviews, data reviews and site inspections. A report was generated including a classification system based on three (‘traffic-light type’) categories allocated to any report recommendations.

This strategy enabled the client to better prioritise the recommendations generated from this assessment.

The Result

The final report was prepared to form the basis of a future EMS “workplan”. This workplan is the framework for the organisation to reduce its environmental impact, minimise the risk of environmental incidents and increase its environmental improvement strategies.

The proper implementation of our report would give the client more streamlined processes, which would aim to reduce its environmental impact, face less scrutiny from the environmental regulator and incur less costs overall. Needless to say, it wouldn’t hurt its corporate reputation either. A Win Win!

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