The Roots of ISO 14001 (Part 2)

Nelson's Column during the Great Smog of 1952

Nelson’s Column during the Great Smog of 1952

As described in part 1 of this article, early legislation and attempts to curb air pollution were largely unsuccessful and a situation arose in post-war London where ‘pea soup’ fogs in colder winter months combined with the excess pollution that was a normal feature of daily life to create life-threatening smogs. Also known as a black fog, killer fog or smog, is was a very thick and often yellowish, greenish, or blackish fog caused by air pollution that contained soot particulates and the poisonous gas sulphur dioxide. Continue reading

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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

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

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

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

Waste Management, why is it important and what can you do?

Waste produced in the officeMost people don’t realize how much waste they throw away every day. For example, if we are just looking at food, from uneaten leftovers to spoiled produce, shockingly, as much as half of the world’s food is wasted. Consequently, feeding the world is actually much more about preventing waste than finding ways of producing more food and all its associated social and environmental costs. Continue reading

How to Plan for Spills and Effective Spill Control

Spillage of chemicalsIn our last article we discussed REACH and CLP regulations and how your business can get ready for the REACH registration process. In this we touch on the spillage of chemicals and their control – what is spill control? how does it impact your employees and your business? how do you prepare for it? Continue reading

World Day to Combat Desertification

World Day to Combat Desertification

The demand for life’s essentials will rise significantly in the next 20 years. About 50% more food will be needed, 40% more energy and 35% more water. How will these demands to be met and with what resources? Past trends show that land, the foundation of these goods and services, is not only being destroyed, but is not on the radar screen of policy-makers because there is no political will to get something done. Continue reading

What is World Environment Day?

What is WED?World Environment Day (‘WED’) is celebrated every year on 5 June to raise global awareness of the need to take positive environmental action and is run by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

In fact, 5 June was the day that the seminal United Nations Conference on the Human Environment began in Stockholm (this ran from 5–16 June 1972). The first World Environment Day was in 1973 and it is hosted every year by a different city with a different theme. Continue reading