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ISO 14001 Aspects Analysis

ISO 14001 Aspects Analysis

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ISO 14001 Aspects Analysis

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  1. ISO 14001 Aspects Analysis By Barry Hirsch with assistance from Elizabeth Davey

  2. What is ISO 14001? • The International Standard Organization is a certifying body that with the aid of licensing agencies provides a recognition of standard operation procedures in a particular area • ISO 14001 concerns an environmental management scheme and is open to institutions of all sizes and types • ISO guidelines exist, however there are no strict requirements for developing the management scheme • This project will focus on an aspects analysis, under section 4.3.1 in ISO 14001.

  3. What is an aspects analysis? “The organization shall establish and maintain (a) procedure to identify the environmental aspects of its activities, products or services that it can control and over which it can be expected to have an influence, in order to determine those which have or can have significant impacts on the environment. The organization shall ensure that the aspects related to these significant impacts are considered in setting its environmental objectives. The organization shall keep this information up-to-date.”

  4. The Green Gradecard for the Green Wave • Associate Professor Timmons Roberts conducted an environmental audit with his Environmental Sociology class in the Spring of 1997 • The class collected data on over twenty aspects which it determined were important • April A. Smith’s book Campus Ecology was used as the model for completing this audit

  5. What we learned from our first analysis: • Tulane has relatively little easily accessible data on its impacts • An audit was a good step in getting people on campus to start realizing how they affect the environment • Report addressed many key issues about impacts, but does not provide quantitative data

  6. Students are effective in aiding an aspects analysis, and thus should be involved during the implementation of ISO 14001 • An effective audit will have to include direct impacts on the Earth, such as the level of Tulane recycling, as well as aspects which are institution specific like the status of the environmental curriculum at Tulane • There are many things that a class cannot accomplish in one semester working on an aspects analysis

  7. Things to work on in next analysis: • The Green Gradecard is already outdated because of the construction of new buildings on campus, the expansion of our recycling and composting programs and a new natural gas co-generation facility, as well as many changes in Tulane’s environmental staff • The previous analysis considered mostly internal factors and lacked data on how Tulane’s impacts affect surrounding communities (ex. Shintech) and ecosystems (ex. Waste disposal in Mississippi and Cancer Alley) • An effective analysis will require more organization, labor, time, resources and expertise than can be afforded by a class of undergraduates in a few months • The next analysis will have to look at both quantitativeand qualitative data

  8. Comparative Analysis and Case Studies: Part I: Research Processes and Purpose • A major part of my project was to gather data on how other universities and corporations conducted their aspects analysis • Information was located on the World Wide Web • A letter was sent to over 50 institutions and corporations requesting information • An indicator report conducted by a community in the Sierra Nevada was utilized to get another perspective on aspects analysis • These case studies will show Tulane how others have conducted an aspects analysis and help us determine the best way to do ours

  9. Penn State University Indicators Report • Two editions of the Indicator Report exist: a first edition published in 1998 and an updated version released in the year 2000 • Report completed by a team of 30 students and several faculty • First Edition: • Reactions and comments to this process are provided from students, faculty members and other interested parties • There is a good breakdown on why the indicators were chosen and what they entail: • Indicators are broken into ten broad categories with descriptions of what these categories consist of for Penn State

  10. Food -Dining hall diet -Dining hall waste -Food purchasing policies -Research on food system sustainability Land -Land accumulation and policies -Impervious surfaces -Planting of native vs. exotic plants on campus -Pesticide use in land care • PSU CATEGORIES: Energy -Total and per capita energy consumption -Consumption of natural gas vs. coal on campus -Emissions from coal combustion on campus -Energy conservation initiatives Water -Water consumption -Ground water quality -Waste water disposal Material Resources and Waste Disposal -Paper consumption -Total solid waste production -Recycled solid waste

  11. Research -Ethical treatment of research subjects -Disposal of laboratory wastes -Research priorities Decision Making -Core values in decision making -Openness • Transportation • -Car dependence • -Green space converted to parking space • -Transport-related safety • The Built Environment • -Building decision process • -Building priorities • -Ecological design in buildings • Community • -Ecological literacy of graduating seniors • -Technology: enhancing vs. • undermining community vitality • -Student crime • -Student alcohol consumption • -Student depression

  12. Indicators were evaluated both quantitatively and qualitatively: “A few reviewers encouraged us to limit our analysis to the strictly numerical indicators, but in the course of this study we came to see that sustainability is much more than millions of BTUs saved or tons of paper recycled. Indeed, it is a whole way of looking at the world which encompasses mindfulness of place, respect for natural processes, discernment of true needs, civic responsibility, and full-cost accounting. In this vein, the use of non-numerical indicators reminds us that some of what is important and worthy of our attention cannot be expressed in numbers.”

  13. Quantitative and Qualitative Data • The quantitative data is expressed in graphs, pie charts and numerous other forms of numerical data • The qualitative data is shown through examples of curriculum, research, decision making and other factors

  14. Second Edition Assessment Procedure • This edition has added an overall device for determining how the university is doing. Four main categories are established and the number of indicators is placed in each. These four categories are: • The University has a complete strategy to adopt sustainable practices; high profile issue with strong leadership - 0 • The University has taken many significant measures to adopt sustainable practices but still lacks a comprehensive strategy - 16 • The University has taken only limited measures to adopt sustainable practices - 13 • The University has taken no significant means to adopt sustainable practices – 4

  15. Strengths of Evaluation Process • Indicators are broken into how they affect each student- for example how much electricity is used for each student in a residence hall • Short term goals and long term goals are presented • Explanation of how and why each indicator is important to real world and university – an example is how much paper = how many square miles of forest • Conclusion summing up each category based on short term and long term goals, as well as a short synopsis about each aspect

  16. The Ford Motor Company Aspects AnalysisStep I: Determining Indicators • Environmental Control Engineer at Ford instructs a Cross Functional Team to determine aspects by reviewing organization’s activities and products or services which have potential to affect environment • Interactions can be positive or negative • Interactions include but are not limited to air, water, land, humans, flora, fauna, and natural resources

  17. Step II: Review of Aspects • The following questions are asked to see if an aspect is deemed significant: • Is it regulated by permits, certificates or licenses? • Does it have the potential to cause an accidental release? • Are there high energy use and/or corporate initiatives associated? • Can it create an environmental load (high volume & mass, high use of natural resources, high frequency & severity of impact)?

  18. Step III: Documentation Procedure: • This selection and review process is documented in the minutes for the cross functional team and management review meetings. • The significant determination process also documents why certain aspects are considered not significant • Extensive information on ISO 14000 is accessible on Ford’s home page, however none of this documentation is readily available to the public

  19. The Sierra Nevada Wealth Index • The most interesting aspects of this indicator report are: • Indicator reports are not only being done by corporations or universities; this is a community undertaking a similar project • This report focuses on indicators that are not just economic or environmental – it also considers aspects such as social well-being • Each indicator report contains graphs for quantitative analysis as well as an explanation of why the particular indicator is important

  20. How they chose their indicators: • The Sierra Business Council chose indicators that they considered to be useful based on three criteria: • They are measurable and can be updated with existing and objective data sources; • They measure the condition of assets which are of material importance to the Sierra Nevada’s wealth; • They measure the condition of assets in which there is active public interest

  21. Part II: Important Findings • An aspects analysis must consider both positive and negative impacts on the environment • A good indicator report will have both quantitative and qualitative findings • Universities are more likely to post their complete aspects analysis on the World Wide Web with easy access, while corporations tend to mention that they are ISO certified • Corporations often give information about the process and their commitment to helping the Earth, but they rarely provide raw data on their analysis and its results • Aspects analysis are being done by all different sorts of people with many different goals in mind – their analysis will represent these goals and objectives

  22. Important Findings Continued • An effective indicator report will explain why the impact chosen is relevant and explain how that impact will affect the lives of everyone within the university, corporation or community in addition to how that impact will affect other people and environments • Aspects analysis are most effective when updated regularly and adjusted to show both short and long term goals

  23. An aspects analysis at Tulane should be multi-tasked: • The project should be headed by an environmental coordinator who has the time to organize and lead this effort • Undergraduates can aid through their course work-classes such as the Environmental Management class offered in Spring 2000 • At least one hired intern or grad student will be necessary to help collect, sort, analyze, and manage the necessary data • A committee comprised of professors and possibly Tulane staff employees and students which will develop strategies for collecting data • The aid of each Tulane faculty/staff member and student at Tulane in helping to determine their effects on the environment- this can be done by posting our analysis on the World Wide Web and encouraging students and faculty to understand how they affect environments and subsequently can act to reduce their negative impacts

  24. Step 1: Indicators must be determined • This process will be long and arduous, but vital to the success of this project • The aspects chosen must be measurable (either quantitatively or qualitatively) and of importance to both Tulane and the public • Indicators should have broad categories as well as more narrow defining characteristics • The aspects chosen must incorporate any specific guidelines or regulations set forth by the EPA or other regulating bodies

  25. Step 2: Data collection and establishment of a database • This process will include many ways of collecting data such as: • Surveys • Interviews • A database will have to be designed/purchased and set up by environmental coordinator or intern/graduate student • Students can aid in this process, but they will be just a part of a tough process which must be led by a professional or graduate student • The lack of existing data at Tulane will make this process difficult, however once the database is established this information will be accessible for many different purposes

  26. Step 3: Presentation of Data and Findings • Data must be evaluated in terms of quantitative and qualitative impacts • Graphs, pie charts and other visual demonstrations of the data will better illustrate the Tulane aspects analysis • Analysis will have to allow for updating and be versatile to new impacts and indicators as they arise • Short and long term goals should be added to re-assess Tulane’s behavior once ISO 14001 is put in place • A measure of Tulane’s commitment to adopting sustainable procedures, as undertaken by Penn State would be useful

  27. Establishment of a web site: • Web site should make the aspects analysis accessible to students, faculty and members of the public • Web Site should be comprehensive in the Penn State model and may even include such features as quotes from those involved in the project • Web site should be updated in the same fashion as the database

  28. Key Websites: ISO website – Tulane Green Grade- Penn State Indicators Report - Ford Motor Co. - Sierra Nevada Wealth Index Excerpts - Other examples of indicator reports and ISO information: UVM report - Formosa Plastics - EPA information - (Search for ISO 14000 or 14001)