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Environmental Aspects
~Dr Dilip Ganguly

Environmental Aspects: The Basics

The identification of environmental aspects is an important step towards recognizing their impacts on our planet. This proves helpful in setting and formulating objectives, targets, and other programs that may be directed towards solving environmental problems.

1. Definition of Environmental Aspect
Environmental Aspect is an element of an organization's activities, products or services that can interact with the environment. There are two types of environmental aspects:

(i) Direct Environmental Aspect Activities over which a company can be expected to have an influence and control. For example, emissions from processes.

(ii) Indirect Environmental Aspect Actual or Potential activities over which the organization can be expected to have an influence, but no control. For example, supply chain controlled aspects, customer controlled aspects, aspects managed elsewhere within the same company.

Environmental Aspect is an element of an organization's activities, products or services that can interact with the environment

2. Identification of Environmental Aspects
(a) Identify Activities, Services and Products.
(b) Draw up an inventory of all operations and processes, identify releases (normal, abnormal, accidental, and emergency situations).
(c) Consider direct and indirect environmental aspects.
(d) Consider:

  • Emissions to air.
  • Release to water.
  • Waste Management.
  • Contamination of land.
  • Impact on communities.
  • Use of raw materials and natural resources.
  • Other local environmental and community issues.

3. Records of Environmental Aspects

  • Review based on sound understanding of environmental issues associated with the process.
  • Check that both Direct and Indirect Environmental Aspects have been included.
  • Check the method of assigning significance.
  • Check that both actual and potential aspects have been included.
  • Check that legislative requirements have been taken in view.

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

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