The Roots of ISO 14001 (Part 1)

ISO 14001Companies and organisations with environmental management systems certified to ISO 14001:2004 have until end 2018 to make the transition to the new 2015 version of the standard. ISO 14001:2015 introduces a number of substantive changes to make the standard more effective with an overall aim of ensuring certification achieves real environmental improvements and makes a contribution to sustainable development. In this regard, it is useful to consider the roots of the standard which emerged from the environmental movement that emerged in the 1960s. However, its roots go much deeper than this and a look at these can help tease out some of the key issues and some of the philosophical concerns that underpin it. This is information an environmental or EHS officer should be aware of when conducting a strategic re-evaluation of the existing EMS and that should also be considered for the EMS, particularly in the areas of training, awareness and communications. Continue reading

Seveso III and major accident hazards

Major accident hazardsA new Directive on the control of major accident hazards involving dangerous substances known as Seveso III was published on 24 July 2012 by the European Commission and has been implemented in the Irish legislature by the Chemicals Act (Control of Major Accident Hazards Involving Dangerous Substances) Regulations 2015. It amended and subsequently repealed the Seveso II Directive on 1 June 2015.

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Why save the forests?

International day of Forest 21 MarchWhen I was a baby my parents used to put me to sleep in my pram and in fine weather would place it underneath a big cypress in my grandparents’ garden. Later they would come back to find me wide awake, probably having been so for a long time, not crying but quietly and contentedly contemplating the tree above. Perhaps as result of this early experience for as long as I can remember I have always had a great affection for trees. As a child looking up through the latticed branches of a spreading beech or oak I would feel sheltered from the vertigo-inducing blue sky and scudding clouds above. It just so happens that this “feeling” is absolutely correct – trees do shelter and protect us in many, many ways.

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World Water Day – why participate?

world water day 2015Water has been appreciated by humanity as a life-giving force since the dawn of time and many cultures and religions have worshipped it in its various forms. While many people still hold a reverence for it, for many more it seems that when you take away the need to seek it out – as happens when if flows freely from a tap, it is often just taken for granted (for another perspective see the one-minute award-winning films). Continue reading

A journey from ISO 9001 to ISO 17025 accreditation

Laboratory TestingBioLogiQ helped Endoval to prepare for the upgrade of their Quality Management System from ISO 9001 to ISO 17025 to demonstrate the competency of their laboratory testing to their cutomers. Their INAB accreditation audit should be taking place in the coming months. Daniel Parra, Endoval’s Managing Director describes how this went for them. Continue reading

Passive-On – Marketable passive homes for winter and summer comfort

Passive-On Project“Passive-On” is a European research project started in 2005 with a €714,000 budget and 50% of the said amount provided by an EU grant under the Intelligent Energy Europe SAVE program.
Its main goal is to promote the concept of the German Passivhaus standard protocol – which was developed for cold climates – and also its advantages when applied to hot climates. This article presents the standards of the Passivhaus protocol as they apply to hotter climes. Continue reading

ISO 9001:2015 – A quick look at the “known knowns” and the “known unknowns”

ISO 9001As well over 1 million organisations across the world await the latest version of the world’s most popular management system standard let’s ask ourselves what do we already know about the expected changes to the ISO 9001 standard and what won’t we know until the standard is published and implemented by organisations? Continue reading

Towards the standardization of European LCA

EeBGuide Project

The “EeBGuide” was a project co-funded by the EU in 2011 under the Seventh Framework Programme and European initiative E2B EI (Operational guidance for Life Cycle Assessment studies of the Energy Efficient Buildings Initiative). This was developed as a Coordination and Support Action (CSA) aimed at coordinating or supporting research activities and policies and was carried out by a group of international experts. Below we will analyse in more detail the objectives and most significant results of this project, among which was a more widespread use of LCA (Life Cycle Assessment). Continue reading

The Irish retrofitted bungalow that consumes less than a passive house

Green Apple AwardCarlow, a town situated about 80 kilometers from Dublin, is the site of the most energy-efficient 1970s bungalow in the country. Formerly, it was a typical energy-guzzling construction from the period with energy bills running to thousands of euro a year – today it consumes less energy yearly less than a passive house. Bills for all energy consumption including electrical appliances are in the region of several hundred euro only. This achievement was recognised when it received a Green Apple Award in 2013. Continue reading

What changes are expected from the revised ISO 14001?

ISO 14001The revised edition of ISO 14001 – the international standard for Environmental Management Systems (EMS) – used by over 250,000 organisations worldwide is close to completion, with a draft text being finalized before its release in the first half of next year. This will bring a renewed focus on the value environmental management delivers to business.

What kind of changes will there be? What will need to be taken into consideration? Continue reading