ISO 14001:2015 implementation

QSC Ltd were contacted back in May this year initially to discuss the requirements of ISO 14001:2015 with Steel Processing (Midlands) Ltd (SPM).
After initial discussions it was very apparent that SPM were failing to meet the environmental legislation that applied to them, and furthermore any documents issued by the waste collection companies was not being checked to ensure the correct details were being annotated on the notes.
There was very little environmental monitoring being carried out, and the hierarchy of waste disposal was not being fully implemented.
The first  approach QSC was to convene a meeting with the senior management to discuss a program of improvements with target dates and responsibilities which helped the business focus on the “quick wins”.
Typically SPM introduced a change to the storage of the waste streams throughout the shop floor and offices. New bins were purchased all labelled with hazardous or non hazardous to enable all the staff to use the correct bins for the correct was streams. Leaks from machines were all recorded and a planned maintenance program created and introduced to stop and repair the leaks, reducing waste and excess cost of continuing to top machines up with oil and lubricants. This also improved the Health and Safety in these areas.
After the quick wins, QSC sat with the Quality Manager and started to write an Environmental Management System (EMS) that met the ISO14001:2015 requirements whilst ensuring the focus was on what SPM does and not a generic off the shelf system that they were expected to adopt and follow. This meant that there was a full take up of the system, and where ISO 14001:2015 required specific compliance this was built into the system and SPM applied the additional requirements as part of the introduction of the new system.
Legislation was reviewed and it was found that there were some major discrepancies of compliance, this meant that the company were not meeting all the requirements of the law. QSC arranged for specialists to assist SPM in making sure all compliance requirements were introduced and evidence collated to prove the company were meeting their environmental obligations. This area was checked when internal and external audits were completed.
After the legislation was identified and compliance confirmed, we identified SPM’s significant environmental aspects and impacts. These were recorded and a risk assessment scoring process introduced to indicate the most significant issues. The aspects and impacts were then used as part of the company’s business risk assessment which is a requirement under the heading of Context in the standard.
As previously mentioned the senior management collectively identified the company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats all of which were recorded and actions implemented to achieve improvements. During the review, the company also considered the interested parties, again these were recorded .and details noted on expectations.
QSC carried out training with the staff regarding spills and how to deal with them. SPM Management issued training on all aspects of the environmental system and asked for everyone’s input to improve the environmental system and performance.
Waste monitoring has been set up along with energy, water and gas usage so that the business can measure its usage and identify if there is any major increases which can be investigated.
Finally the complete system was audited and any areas found to be non-compliant were recorded and actions implemented to correct the issues identified.
The external audit was then carried out and the company awarded certification to ISO14001:2015.