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Aspects
~Dr Dilip Ganguly

An Introduction to EMS Aspects

EMS aspects or Environmental Management System aspects are recorded in a register called the Register of Aspects. This is as per Environment Management System (EMS) IS/ISO: 14001:2004 sub-clause No. 4.3.1.

The global industries, service sectors, and production sectors can be grouped under the a number of general units. These could be mechanical, electrical or civil units. They could include a boiler house or an automobile, an office section or an effluent treatment plant.

In this and the subsequent articles, industry-wise or unit-wise significant environmental aspect studies with case studies, objective targets, operational control procedures and environment management plans are drawn up. This will be of great help to specific industries during the drawing up of an environment aspect register.

Significant Environmental Aspects:
Those aspects that have or can have significant impact(s) on the environment

Definitions of Commonly Used Terms in the Evaluation of EMS Aspects

Environmental Performance
The measurable results of the Environment Management System (EMS), related to an organization's control of its environmental aspects, based on environmental policy, objectives and targets.

Environmental Aspects
Those elements of an organizationís activities, products or services which can interact with the environment.

Significant Environmental Aspects
Those aspects that have or can have significant impact(s) on the environment.

Environmental Impact
Any change to the environment, whether adverse or beneficial, wholly or partially resulting from an organizationís environmental aspects.

The Aspects Analysis Process

The following steps are carried out during aspects analysis:
1. Identification of aspects and impacts from the inputs and outputs of manufacturing processes and operations.
2. Evaluation as per format.
3. Determination of significant environmental aspects and non-significant aspects.
4. Control of significant and non-significant aspects as per the aspect analysis chart.
5. Drawing up of Operational Control Procedures (OCP), Objectives and Targets (O&T) and finally Environment Management Programs (EMP) for significant environmental aspects. Only the OCP is drawn up for non-significant aspects.

After aspects analysis, the following steps are carried out:
1. The significant environmental aspects and the non-significant aspects are controlled by operational control procedures (OCP).
2. The significant environmental aspects are improved by drawing objectives and targets and environment management plans.

[The picture used in this article has been taken from the photo library of stock.xchng.]

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